Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Hyphal elongation, chitin synthesis in vivo, and invertase secretion inPhycomyces blakesleeanus were all inhibited almost instantly by the addition of 5–10 μM calcium ionophore A 23187. Protein biosynthesis was inhibited in these conditions by 30–50%. The ionophore did not affect cell respiration for at least 40 min. Effect on chitin biosynthesis was not due to alterations of the chitin synthetase levels or its activity; nor to impairement in GlcNAc metabolism. In drug-treated cells the number of apical vesicles was severely reduced even at very short periods of incubation, and these low numbers remained constant for at least 60 min of incubation with the ionophore. We suggest that the ionophore collapses the cellular calcium gradient and/or interferes with the normal electrical transhyphal current. As a consequence, formation and migration of apical vesicles are inhibited. These results are further evidence of the role of vesicles in fungal tip growth and exhibit the fact that active chitin synthetase is short-lived in vivo demanding its continuous supply by chitosomes to the cell surface.
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