Actin dynamics during the cell cycle in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

John D.I. Harper, David W. McCurdy, Mark A. Sanders, Jeffrey L. Salisbury, Peter C.L. John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We have used two monoclonal antibodies to demonstrate the presence and localization of actin in interphase and mitotic vegetative cells of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Commercially available monoclonal antibodies raised against smooth muscle actin (Lessard: Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 10:349–362, 1988; Lin: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 78:2335–2339, 1981) identify Chlamydomonasactin as a ∼43,000‐Mr protein by Western immunoblot procedures. In an earlier study, Detmers and coworkers (Cell Motil. 5:415–430, 1985) first identified Chlamydomonas actin using NBD‐phallacidin and an antibody raised against Dictyostelium actin; they demonstrated that F‐actin is localized in the fertilization tubule of mating gametes. Here, we show by immunofluorescence that vegetative Chlamydomonas cells have an array of actin that surrounds the nucleus in interphase cells and undergoes dramatic reorganization during mitosis and cytokinesis. This includes the following: reorganization of actin to the ante‐ rior of the cell during preprophase; the formation of a cruciate actin band in prophase; reorganization to a single anterior actin band in metaphase; rearrange‐ ment forming a focus of actin anterior to the metaphase plate; reextension of the actin band in anaphase; presence of actin in the forming cleavage furrow during telophase and cytokinesis; and finally reestablishment of the interphase actin array. The studies presented here do not allow us to discriminate between G and F‐actin. None the less, our observations, demonstrating dynamic reorganization of actin during the cell cycle, suggest a role for actin that may include the movement of basal bodies toward the spindle poles in mitosis and the formation of the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • algae
  • cell division
  • cytokinesis
  • mitosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Actin dynamics during the cell cycle in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this