Macromolecular events leading to cell division in tetrahymena pyriformis after removal and replacement of required pyrimidines

Ivan L. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tetrahymena pyriformis were brought to a non-growing state by removal of pyrimidines from their growth medium. During pyrimidine deprivation cell number increased 3- to 4 fold, and this increase was accompanied by one or more complete cycles of macronuclear DNA replication. Autoradiographic studies show that endogenous protein and RNA were turning over throughout starvation and that RNA breakdown products were used to support the DNA synthesis that occurred during the early period of starvation. However, after 72 hours of starvation all DNA synthesis and cell division had ceased. Feulgen microspectrophotometry shows the macronuclei of these cells to have been stopped at a point prior to DNA replication (GI stage). After pyrimidine replacement the incorporation of H3-uridine, H3- adenosine, and H3-1eucine was measured by the autoradiographic grain counting method. The results indicate that RNA synthesis began to increase almost immediately, but that there was a lag of almost an hour before an increase in protein synthesis. In agreement with the autoradiographic data, chemical data also show that cellular content of RNA began to increase shortly after pyrimidine replacement but that cellular protein content did not increase until about one hour later. Pulse labeling of the cells with H3-thymidine at intervals after pyrimidine replacement shows that labeled macronuclei first began to appear at 150 minutes; that 98 per cent of the macronuclei were in DNA synthesis at 240 to 270 minutes; and that the percentage then began to decrease from 300 to 390 minutes, at which time only 25 per cent of the macronuclei were labeled. Cellular content of DNA did not increase for at least 135 minutes after pyrimidine replacement; however, just before the first cells divided (360 minutes) the DNA content had doubled. After pyrimidine replacement the cells first began to divide at 360 minutes, and 50 per cent had divided at 420 minutes; however, all cells had not divided until 573 minutes. This technique of chemical synchronization of cells in mass cultures makes feasible detailed biochemical analysis of events leading to nuclear DNA replication and cell division.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1965
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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