Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 27–33 | Cite as

Determination of net flux of 14 amino acids inTetrahymena pyriformis

  • James P. Davis
  • Grover C. Stephens


  1. 1.

    Influx of14C-labeled aspartate, leucine and glycine intoT. pyriformis occurs from substrate concentrations as low as 1 μM. The relation between concentration and the rate of influx of14C-aspartate is adequately described by the Michaelis-Menten equation, suggesting a carrier-mediated pathway. The influx of14C-labeled leucine and glycine requires an additional term for diffusional exchange, or a second carrier-mediated system.

  2. 2.

    Fluorometric determination of changes in primary amines in the medium showed a steady increase with time, regardless of the amino acid substrate supplied in the medium, provided the ambient concentration is 25 μM or less. At an ambient amino acid concentration of 70 μM, net entry of primary amines was observed.

  3. 3.

    Changes in the ambient level of 14 amino acids supplied at initial levels of 0.5 μM and 5.0 μM are studied using high pressure liquid chromatography. There was a net increase in total amino acids in the medium at the lower substrate level (7.0 μM total) and a net decrease at the higher level (70 μM). Observance of a net increase or decrease in the medium of specific amino acids depends on the level supplied initially and the particular substrate.

  4. 4.

    We conclude that carrier-mediated influx of labeled substrate may be accompanied by a net entry or net loss of that substrate. A general model of amino acid transport is provided. In addition, our findings suggest that influx of free amino acids, intoT. pyriformis from low environmental concentrations plays only a minor role, if any, in providing nutrients.



Free Amino Acid High Pressure Liquid Chromatography Primary Amine Amino Acid Transport Amino Acid Concentration 
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High Pressure Liquid Chromatography


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. Davis
    • 1
  • Grover C. Stephens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Cell BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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