Science and Mathematics Faculty Publications

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Purinergic Signalling





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Guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP) is a chemorepellent in Tetrahymena thermophila that has been shown to stimulate cell division as well as ciliary reversal. Previous studies have proposed that GTP avoidance is linked to a receptor-mediated, calcium-based depolarization. However, the intracellular mechanisms involved in GTP avoidance have not been previously documented. In this study, we examine the hypothesis that GTP signals through a tyrosine kinase pathway in T. thermophila. Using behavioral assays, enzyme immunosorbent assays, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence, we present data that implicate a tyrosine kinase, phospholipase C, intracellular calcium, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and guanylyl cyclase in GTP signaling. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein eliminates GTP avoidance in Tetrahymena in behavioral assays. Similarly, pharmacological inhibitors of phospholipase C, NOS, and guanylyl cyclase all eliminated Tetrahymena avoidance to GTP. Immunofluorescence data shows evidence of tyrosine kinase activity in the cilia, suggesting that this enzyme activity could be directly involved in ciliary reversal.


Chemorepellent, Extracellular nucleotide, Purine metabolism

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