Species-specific aggregation factor in sponges

VIII. Nature and alteration of cell surface charge
  • Werner E. G. Müller
  • Rudolf K. Zahn
  • Branco Kurelec
  • Isabel Müller


Isolated cells from the siliceous spongeGeodia cydonium have been studied with respect to their partition behaviour in a two-phase aqueous polymer system. With this method it is possible to determine subtle changes in the cell surface charge. Addition of a homologous aggregation factor to the isolated cells lowers the partition rate, a finding which indicates that after binding of the aggregation factor to the cells their surface charge is reduced. The partition rate of the cells is strongly correlated with their content of membranebound sialic acid.

Sixty-nine percent of the total, membrane-bound hexuronic acid is associated with the aggregation receptor; 1.8×107 aggregation receptor molecules are present on the surface of one cell which means that the average surface density amounts to 2.8×105 molecules per μm2.

Removal of the aggregation receptor molecules from the cell surface results in a decrease of the partition rate in the two-phase system. After charging the receptor-depleted cells with soluble aggregation receptor, the partition behaviour of these cells can be reconstituted.


Surface Charge Sialic Acid Surface Density Polymer System Aggregation Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations used


calcium- and magnesium-free artificial sea water




calcium- and magnesium-containing artificial sea water


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner E. G. Müller
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rudolf K. Zahn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Branco Kurelec
    • 1
    • 2
  • Isabel Müller
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Physiologisch-chemisches InstitutUniversität MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Molecular BiologyInstitut Ruder BoškovićRovinjJugoslavia

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