University of Illinois at Chicago
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Contractile fibers in the ciliated protozoan Vorticella convallaria

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posted on 2011-04-14, 00:00 authored by Katarzyna Konior
The ciliated protozoan Vorticella convallaria possesses a highly contractile cytoskeleton and is a good model system to study mechanochemical motility. Since calcium triggers this contraction, we have undertaken the molecular characterization of the calcium-binding proteins (CBP) associated with these organelles. We have identified a multi-gene family of CBP and have isolated and identified seven unique centrin-like cDNAs from V. convallaria. Each encodes an acidic protein of approximately 20-kDa, containing a unique N-terminus and four potential calcium-binding domains. We predict each centrin has a distinct function within the cell. To define these functions, we have initiated immunofluorescence and immunolocalization studies at the ultrastructural level utilizing various anti-centrin antibodies. This image shows labeling with anti Vc Centrin 4 antibody. This polyclonal antibody localizes to the longitudinal myonemes in the cell body. The labeling of the oblique myonemes surrounding the oral apparatus is especially pronounced. Scale bar = 10 micrometers. The image was taken using Zeiss Axiovision Scope.


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Entry in 2010 in The Image of Research, a competition for students in graduate or professional degree programs at UIC, sponsored by UIC's Graduate College and the University Library. Images of award recipients and honorable mention images on exhibition in the Richard J. Daley Library and the Library of the Health Sciences, April 15-May 31, 2010.

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