The Role of Cortexillin in Dictyostelium discoidium Movement
McPeak, Christopher L.
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Dictyostelium discoidium is an ideal cell for the study of cell motility as it is analogous to many of the cells found within the human body. There are many proteins within the actin filament meshwork of the cytoskeleton of these cells which are intimately involved in the mechanisms of cell locomotion, cytokinesis, and phagocytosis. In this study, we determined the "normal" cytoskeletal organization of AX2 Dictyostelium cells through biochemical techniques as well as detailed examination under the electron microscope. We also examined the protein cortexillin, an actin binding protein, determining its localization and amount within the cytoskeleton of the Dictyosteilum cell. The results of this study revealed the average length, concentration, and number of actin filaments within the AX2 Dictyostelium cell. Through electron microscopic and immunogold labeling techniques, we also were able to provide direct visual correlation between the morphology and fine structure of the cytoskeleton with differences in motile behavior between wild-type and cortexillin null cells reported previously.