The fenestrin antigen in submembrane skeleton of the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila is proposed as a marker of cell polarity during cell division and in oral replacement

Protist. 2003 Jul;154(2):251-64. doi: 10.1078/143446103322166545.


Tetrahymena thermophila cells have two types of polarized morphogenesis: divisional morphogenesis and oral reorganization (OR). The aim of this research is the analysis of cortical patterns of immunostaining during cell division and in OR using previously characterized antibodies against fenestrin and epiplasm B proteins. During cell division, the anarchic field of basal body proliferation of the new developing oral apparatus (AF) showed concomitant strong binding of the fenestrin antigen and withdrawal of a signal of the epiplasm B antigen. At a specific stage, the fenestrin antigen also appeared as a character of the anterior cortex pole, with a co-localized decrease in the detected epiplasm B antigen. The fenestrin antigen also showed a polarity of duplicating basal bodies in ciliary rows. Indirect immunofluorescence and immunogold labeling experiments were performed in the absence and presence of an inhibitor of activity of serine/threonine kinases, 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP) as an inducer of the oral replacement process. In the presence of 6-DMAP, one class of cells started OR, and some others were trapped and affected in cell division. Both types of cells showed an instability of oral structures and formed enlarged primordial oral fields. These anarchic fields (AFs) bind the fenestrin antigen, with disappearance of epiplasmic antigen staining. Only one protein (about 64 kDa) is detected in western blots by the anti-fenestrin antibody and it accumulated in 6-DMAP-treated cells that are involved in uncompleted morphogenetic activity. At a defined stage of oral development, both during cell division and in OR, the fenestrin antigen served as a marker of polarity of the cell of the anterior pole character.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mouth / ultrastructure
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Tetrahymena thermophila / cytology*
  • Tetrahymena thermophila / metabolism
  • Tetrahymena thermophila / ultrastructure


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Biomarkers
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • N(6),N(6)-dimethyladenine
  • Adenine