Translational regulation of protein synthesis, in response to light, at a critical stage of Volvox development

Cell. 1985 Jun;41(2):419-28. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(85)80015-5.


In Volvox cultures synchronized by a light-dark cycle, juveniles containing presumptive somatic and reproductive cells are produced during the dark, but their cells do not differentiate until after the lights come on. The pattern of protein synthesis changes rapidly after the lights come on. Action spectra and effects of photosynthesis inhibitors indicate that this protein synthetic change is not simply a consequence of renewed flow of energy from illuminated chloroplasts. Actinomycin, at a level adequate to block the response to heat shock, has virtually no effect on the response of the same cells to light; furthermore, RNAs isolated from unilluminated and illuminated juveniles yield indistinguishable in vitro translation products. We conclude, therefore, that this effect of light is exerted almost exclusively at the translational level, generating one of the most striking examples of translational regulation yet described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbonyl Cyanide m-Chlorophenyl Hydrazone / pharmacology
  • Dactinomycin / pharmacology
  • Darkness
  • Diuron / pharmacology
  • Eukaryota / genetics
  • Eukaryota / growth & development
  • Eukaryota / metabolism*
  • Eukaryota / radiation effects
  • Light*
  • Photosynthesis
  • Protein Biosynthesis* / radiation effects*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Dactinomycin
  • Carbonyl Cyanide m-Chlorophenyl Hydrazone
  • Diuron