Molekulare Spezifität von Membran-Interaktionen bei Paramecium


Paramecium-Zellen vollführen neben den "Standard-Routen" noch spezielle Formen des intrazellulären Vesikelverkehrs. Als molekulare Grundlagen wurden hierzu mehrere Gene kloniert (NSF, das SNARE Synaptobrevin, V0/V1-Komponenten einer H+-ATPase), die derzeit im Zusammenhang mit Membran-Interaktionen diskutiert werden. Nomenklatur: SNARE = SNAP receptors, SNAP = soluble NSF attachment protein, NSF = NEM-sensitive factor, NEM = N-ethylmaleimid. Die strikte Synchronizität der stimulierten Exo-Endocytose und in gewissem Umfang auch weiterer Schritte des intrazellulären Vesikelverkehrs (Phagocytose, coated pit-vermittelte Endocytose, phago-lysosomaler Abbau und Recycling solcher Komponenten), präzise räumlich Zuordnung (regulär angeordnete repetitive Dock-/Fusionsstellen für Exo-Endocytose), Isolierbarkeit der relevanten Zellkomponenten, Verfügbarkeit von sekretorischen Mutanten, Möglichkeit funktioneller Tests in vitro und in vivo, sowie die reguläre Struktur der Paramecium-Zelle bieten klare Vorteile zur Analyse membranspezifischer Interaktionen, unter Einschluss von "Gene silencing" und Überexpression mit GFP-Marker.

  • FB Biologie
    Plattner, Helmut; Kissmehl, Roland (2003): Molecular aspects of membrane trafficking in paramecium International Review of Cytology ; 232 (2003). - S. 185-216

Molecular aspects of membrane trafficking in paramecium

Results achieved in the molecular biology of Paramecium have shed new light on its elaborate membrane trafficking system. Paramecium disposes not only of the standard routes (endoplasmic reticulum --> Golgi --> lysosomes or secretory vesicles; endo- and phagosomes --> lysosomes/digesting vacuoles), but also of some unique features, e.g. and elaborate phagocytic route with the cytoproct and membrane recycling to the cytopharynx, as well as the osmoregulatory system with multiple membrane fusion sites. Exocytosis sites for trichocysts (dense-core secretory vesicles), parasomal sacs (coated pits), and terminal cisternae (early endosomes) display additional regularly arranged predetermined fusion/fission sites, which now can be discussed on a molecular basis. Considering the regular, repetitive arrangements of membrane components, availability of mutants for complementation studies, sensitivity to gene silencing, and so on, Paramecium continues to be a valuable model system for analyzing membrane interactions. This review intends to set a new baseline for ongoing work along these lines.

Origin (projects)

    Kissmehl, Roland; Froissard, Marine; Plattner, Helmut; Momayezi, Massoud; Cohen, Jean (2002): NSF regulates membrane traffic along multiple pathways in Paramecium Journal of Cell Science ; 115 (2002), 20. - S. 3935-3946. - ISSN 0021-9533. - eISSN 1477-9137

NSF regulates membrane traffic along multiple pathways in Paramecium

N-ethylmaleimide (NEM)-sensitive factor (NSF), a regulator of soluble NSF attachment protein receptors (SNAREs), is required for vesicular transport in many eukaryotic cells. In the ciliated protozoon Paramecium, complex but well-defined transport routes exist, constitutive and regulated exocytosis, endocytosis, phagocytosis and a fluid excretory pathway through contractile vacuoles, that can all be studied independently at the whole cell level. To unravel the role of NSF and of the SNARE machinery in this complex traffic, we looked for NSF genes in Paramecium, starting from a partial sequence found in a pilot random sequencing project. We found two very similar genes, PtNSF1 and PtNSF2, which both seem to be expressed. Peptide-specific antibodies (Abs) recognize PtNSF as a 84 kDa band. PtNSF gene silencing results in decreasing phagocytotic activity, while stimulated exocytosis of dense core-vesicles (trichocysts), once firmly attached at the cell membrane, persists. Ultrastructural analysis of silenced cells shows deformation or disappearance of structures involved in membrane traffic. Aggregates of numerous small, smooth vesicles intermingled with branches of ER occur in the cytoplasm and are most intensely labeled with anti-NSF Ab-gold. Furthermore, elongated vesicles of ~30 nm diameter can be seen attached at cortical calcium storage compartments, the alveolar sacs, whose unknown biogenesis may thus be revealed. Involvement of PtNSF in some low frequency fusion events was visualized in non-silenced cells by immuno-fluorescence, after cautious permeabilization in the presence of ATP-γ-S and NEM. Our data document that PtNSF is involved in distinct pathways of vesicle traffic in Paramecium and that actual sensitivity to silencing is widely different, apparently dependent on the turnover of membrane-to-membrane attachment formation.

Origin (projects)

    Plattner, Helmut (2002): My favorite cell - Paramecium BioEssays ; 24 (2002), 7. - S. 649-658. - ISSN 0265-9247. - eISSN 1521-1878

My favorite cell - Paramecium

A Paramecium cell has a stereotypically patterned surface, with regularly arranged cilia, dense-core secretory vesicles and subplasmalemmal calcium stores. Less strikingly, there is also a patterning of molecules; for instance, some ion channels are restricted to certain regions of the cell surface. This design may explain very effective and selective responses, such as that to Ca2+ upon stimulation. It enables the cell to respond to a Ca2+ signal precisely secretion (exocytosis) or by changing its ciliary activity. These responses depend on the location and/or type of signal, even though these two target structures co-exist side-by-side, and normally only limited overlap occurs between the different functions. Furthermore, the patterning of exocytotic sites and the possibility of synchronous exocytosis induction in the sub-second time range have considerably facilitated analyses, and thus led to new concepts of exocytotic membrane fusion. It has been possible to dissect complicated events like overlapping Ca2+ fluxes produced from external sources and from internal stores. Since molecular genetic approaches have become available for Paramecium, many different gene products have been identified only some of which are known from higher eukaryotes. Although a variety of basic cellular functions are briefly addressed to demonstrate the uniqueness of this unicellular organism, this article focuses on exocytosis regulation.

Origin (projects)

  Froissard, Marine; Kissmehl, Roland; Dedieu, Jean-Claude; Gulik-Krzywicki, Tadeusz; Plattner, Helmut; Cohen, Jean (2002): N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Factor Is Required to Organize Functional ExocytoticMicrodomains in Paramecium Genetics ; 161 (2002). - S. 643-650

N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Factor Is Required to Organize Functional ExocytoticMicrodomains in Paramecium

In exocytosis, secretory granules contact plasmamembrane at sites where microdomains can be observed, which are sometimes marked by intramembranous particle arrays. Such arrays are particularly obvious when membrane fusion is frozen at a subterminal stage, e.g., in neuromuscular junctions and ciliate exocytotic sites. In Paramecium, a genetic approach has shown thatthe rosettes of intramembranous particles are essential for stimulated exocytosis of secretory granules, the trichocysts. The identification of two genes encoding the N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF), a chaperone ATPase involved in organelle docking, prompted us to analyze its potential role in trichocyst exocytosis using a gene-silencing strategy. Here we show that NSF deprivation strongly interferes with rosette assembly but does not disturb the functioning of exocytotic sites already formed. We conclude that rosette organization involves ubiquitous partners of the fusion machinery and discuss where NSF could intervene in this mechanism.

Origin (projects)

Funding sources
Name Project no. Description Period
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft798/0601.01.2007 – 31.12.2009
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft642/0301.05.2003 – 30.04.2007
Further information
Period: 01.05.2003 – 31.12.2009