Novel cytoskeletal proteins in the cortex of Tetrahymena

J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2003 Jan-Feb;50(1):9-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2003.tb00100.x.


An important unsolved problem lies in the mechanisms that determine overall size, shape, and the localization of subcellular structures in eukaryotic cells. The membrane skeleton must play a central role in these processes in many cell types, and the ciliate membrane skeleton, or epiplasm, offers favorable opportunities for exploring the molecular determinants of cortical organization. Among the ciliates, Tetrahymena is well suited for the application of a wide range of molecular and cellular approaches. Progress has been made in the identification and sequencing of genes and proteins that encode epiplasmic and cortical proteins. The amino acid sequences of these proteins suggest that they define new classes of cytoskeletal proteins, distinct from the articulin and epiplasmin proteins. We will also discuss recent in vivo and in vitro studies of the regulation of assembly of these cortical proteins. This will include information regarding the down-regulation of epiplasmic proteins during cleavage, their topographic regulation in the cell cycle, and the results of in vitro assembly and binding studies of the epiplasmic C protein.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / analysis
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / chemistry*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel / methods
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry*
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Tetrahymena / cytology
  • Tetrahymena / isolation & purification
  • Tetrahymena / ultrastructure*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • EPIC protein, Tetrahymena pyriformis
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • articulin
  • tetrin A protein, Tetrahymena