Light-induced, reversible modifications of the putative photoreceptor protein of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae

 

 

THOMAS SCHLENKRICH, DONAT-P. HÄDER* and MICHAEL LEBERT

Institut für Botanik und Pharmazeutische Biologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Staudtstr. 5, D-91058 Erlangen (Germany)

 

 

Correspondence to: Prof. Dr. Donat-P. Häder, Institut für Botanik und Pharmazeutische Biologie, Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Staudtstraße 5, D-91058 Erlangen, Fed. Rep. Germany.

Tel.: 49 9131 858216, Telefax: 49 9131 858215

Abstract

Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae show positive phototaxis at low irradiances (< 0.1 W m-2) and negative phototaxis at higher intensities. Based on the action spectrum for photoaccumulation of amoebae we were able to identify a membrane-bound 45 kDa protein which we assume to be the photoreceptor and/or the antenna pigment for amoebal phototaxis. For further characterization polyclonal antibodies directed against the 45 kDa protein were generated. The amount of protein did not change with the growth conditions (light or dark grown amoebae), but the binding characteristics of the antibody to itís antigen strongly depended on the availability of light. This finding indicates a light-induced, reversible modification of the putative photoreceptor. The nature of this modification is unknown.

Key words: Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae; phototaxis; photoreceptor pigment