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J Cell Sci. 2007 Jan 1;120(Pt 1):177-90. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

A broad spectrum of actin paralogs in Paramecium tetraurelia cells display differential localization and function.

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Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, P.O. Box 5560, 78457 Konstanz, Germany.


To localize the different actin paralogs found in Paramecium and to disclose functional implications, we used overexpression of GFP-fusion proteins and antibody labeling, as well as gene silencing. Several isoforms are associated with food vacuoles of different stages. GFP-actin either forms a tail at the lee side of the organelle, or it is vesicle bound in a homogenous or in a speckled arrangement, thus reflecting an actin-based mosaic of the phagosome surface appropriate for association and/or dissociation of other vesicles upon travel through the cell. Several paralogs occur in cilia. A set of actins is found in the cell cortex where actin outlines the regular surface pattern. Labeling of defined structures of the oral cavity is due to other types of actin, whereas yet more types are distributed in a pattern suggesting association with the numerous Golgi fields. A substantial fraction of actins is associated with cytoskeletal elements that are known to be composed of other proteins. Silencing of the respective actin genes or gene subfamilies entails inhibitory effects on organelles compatible with localization studies. Knock down of the actin found in the cleavage furrow abolishes cell division, whereas silencing of other actin genes alters vitality, cell shape and swimming behavior.

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