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Fungal Genet Biol. 2005 Dec;42(12):963-75. Epub 2005 Nov 15.

Tracing the endocytic pathway of Aspergillus nidulans with FM4-64.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, Madrid 28040, Spain.


Simple procedures using FM4-64 to follow membrane internalization and transport to the vacuolar system and endomembranes in Aspergillus nidulans are described. FM4-64 internalization is energy, temperature and F-actin dependent, strongly suggesting that it occurs by endocytosis. The dye sequentially labels: (i) cortical punctuate organelles whose motility resembles that of yeast actin patches; (ii) approximately 0.7 microm circular, hollow structures representing mature endosome/vacuole; and (iii) intermediate and large (2-3 microm in diameter) size vacuoles whose lumen is strongly labeled with 5-(and-6)-carboxy-2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (CDCFDA). These large vacuoles possibly correspond to the final stage of one branch of the endocytic pathway. In addition, FM4-64 labels strongly the mitochondrial network and weakly the nuclear membrane. A class of cytoplasmic punctuate organelles which become fluorescent very shortly after dye loading and that can move in either apical or basal direction at an average rate of 2-3 microm s(-1) is also described. This work provides a useful framework for the phenotypic characterization of A. nidulans mutants affected in endocytosis.

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