The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 75–92 | Cite as

Spatial distribution of functional OH carriers along a characean internodal cell: Determined by the effect of cytochalasin B on H14CO 3 assimilation

  • William J. Lucas
  • Jack Dainty


The present study was aimed at testing an hypothesis relating to the OH efflux pattern developed on internodal cells ofChara corallina. It was suggested that OH efflux carriers were restricted to a limited number of sites along the internodal cell. Hydroxyl ions were considered to be delivered to these sites via the streaming cytoplasm. To test this hypothesis, cytochalasin B was used to inhibit cyclosis. Under these conditions OH efflux and H14CO 3 assimilation should have been inhibited.

Our results indicated that cyclosis was inhibited within 60 min in the presence of 30 μg/ml cytochalasin B. When14CO2 (pH 5.0) fixation experiments were conducted under these conditions, no inhibition of photosynthesis was observed. Cytochalasin B was shown, therefore, to inhibit cyclosis without affecting thein vivo reactions of photosynthesis.

A parallel study on the effect of increasing cytochalasin B concentrations on cyclosis and H14CO 3 assimilation revealed that there was a limiting velocity of cyclosis below which H14CO 3 assimilation was inhibited. These results were interpreted in terms of a rate-limiting step associated with the supply of OH to the operational efflux sites.

At cytochalasin B concentrations below 15–20 μg/ml, no effect was observed on H14CO 3 assimilation. This suggested that cytochalasin B does not interfere with the membrane-bound HCO 3 and OH transport systems of this species.

The OH efflux pattern underwent significant modification following cyclosis inhibition. A change from discrete band efflux sites to a network of numerous small, localized, disc-shaped efflux sites was observed. The discovery of this modified OH efflux system provided an explanation for the observed limited sensitivity of H14CO 3 influx to cessation of cyclosis.

These results invalidated part of our hypothesis, since they revealed that the OH carriers are uniformly distributed over the plasmalemma surface. A modified hypothesis to account for the spatial distribution of the OH efflux sites is presented.


Hydroxyl Spatial Distribution Human Physiology Transport System Significant Modification 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Lucas
    • 1
  • Jack Dainty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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