Journal Article

Inhibition of Contractile Vacuole Function by Brefeldin A

Burkhard Becker and Angela Hickisch

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 46, issue 1, pages 201-212
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pci014
Inhibition of Contractile Vacuole Function by Brefeldin A

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Brefeldin A (BFA) causes a block in the secretory system of eukaryotic cells. In the scaly green flagellate Scherffelia dubia, BFA also interfered with the function of the contractile vacuoles (CVs). The CV is an osmoregulatory organelle which periodically expels fluid from the cell in many freshwater protists. Fusion of the CV membrane with the plasma membrane is apparently blocked by BFA in S. dubia. The two CVs of S. dubia swell and finally form large central vacuoles (LCVs). BFA-induced formation of LCVs depends on V-ATPase activity, and can be reversed by hypertonic media, suggesting that water accumulation in the LCVs is driven by osmosis. We suggest that the BFA-induced formation of LCVs represents a prolonged diastole phase. A normal diastole phase takes about 20 s and is difficult to investigate. Therefore, BFA-induced formation of LCVs in S. dubia represents a unique model system to investigate the diastole phase of the CV cycle.

Keywords: Keywords: Brefeldin A —Concanamycin A — Contractile vacuole — Golgi — Osmoregulation — Scherffelia dubia — V-ATPase.; Abbreviations: BFA, brefeldin A; Concan A, concanamycin A; CV, contractile vacuole; EM, electron microscopy; LCV, large central vacuole; LM, light microscopy; SR, scale reticulum.

Journal Article.  8483 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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