Chemical signaling in ciliates

J Eukaryot Microbiol. May-Jun 1995;42(3):208-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1995.tb01567.x.


For long, our knowledge of the biology of ciliate pheromones has long relied solely upon the study of the two structurally unrelated "gamones" identified in culture filtrates of a Blepharisma species. However, the characterization of a number of polypeptide pheromones secreted by Euplotes raikovi and E. octocarinatus has now established that structural relationships of homology usually link these molecules, which is consistent with the genetic basis of the mating type systems evolved by these species. In this context, our growing appreciation of the conserved and variable elements of the pheromone architecture should foster progress in the understanding of pheromone-receptor interactions and thus, provide important clues into pheromone mechanisms of action.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Ciliophora / genetics
  • Ciliophora / physiology*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Models, Structural
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pheromones / chemistry*
  • Pheromones / physiology*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Protein Structure, Secondary*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Species Specificity


  • Pheromones