Correlation between potassium and phosphorus content and their nonuniform distribution in Acanthamoeba castellanii
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Biologically important elements: K, Na, Mg, Ca, Cl, P, and S were analyzed in Acanthamoeba castellanii. A higher potassium content, as compared with other cations, was detected. Total content of the cation-forming elements: K, Na, Mg, and Ca was ca. 360 mmoles/kg dry weight of the cells. Phosphorus content was estimated as 492 mmoles/kg dry weight. Content of chlorine, a basic cellular anion, was 173 mmoles/kg dry weight. The low level of chlorine appears not the be sufficient to balance all the cations in Acanthamoeba.
Distribution of potassium in Acanthamoeba cells was nonuniform and similar to that of phosphorus as shown by X-ray microanalysis technique. Quantitative correlation between phosphorus and potassium as well as the similar distribution of these elements suggests that in Acanthamoeba phosphorus is an essential anion which, being nonuniformly distributed in the cell, determines also a nonuniform distribution of potassium.
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