Chemosensory transduction and adaptation are important aspects of signal transduction mechanisms in many cell types, ranging from prokaryotes to differentiated tissues such as neurons. The eukaryotic ciliated protozoan, Tetrahymena thermophila, is capable of responding to both chemoattractants (O'Neill et al., 1985; Leick, 1992; Kohidai, Karsa & Csaba, 1994, 1995) and chemorepellents (Francis & Hennessey, 1995; Kuruvilla, Kim & Hennessey, 1997). An example of a nontoxic, depolarizing chemorepellent in Tetrahymena is extracellular lysozyme (Francis & Hennessey, 1995; Hennessey, Kim & Satir, 1995). Lysozyme is an effective chemorepellent at micromolar concentrations, binds to a single class of externally facing membrane receptors and prolonged exposure (10 min) produces specific chemosensory adaptation (Kuruvilla et al., 1997). We now show that this lysozyme response is initiated by a depolarizing chemoreceptor potential in Tetrahymena and we have purified the membrane lysozyme receptor by affinity chromatography of solubilized Tetrahymena membrane proteins. The solubilized, purified protein is 42 kD and it exhibits saturable, high affinity lysozyme binding. Polyclonal antibodies raised against this 42 kD receptor block the in vivo lysozyme chemoresponse. This is not only the first time that a chemoreceptor potential has been recorded from Tetrahymena but also the first time that a chemorepellent receptor has been purified from any unicellular eukaryote.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 1998
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