Intracytoplasmic membranous structures of a unique type were associated with the replication of three group A arboviruses: Semliki Forest virus (SFV), Sindbis virus, or Western equine encephalomyelitis virus. The structures, referred to as type 1 cytopathic vacuoles (CPV-1), were membrane-limited and characteristically lined by regular membranous spherules measuring 50 nm in diameter. The membranous spherules typically contained a fine central density, but were neither virus cores nor virions. Detection of CPV-1 by electron microscopy at 3 to 6 hr postinfection coincided with the time of rapid virus growth and preceded the accumulation of virus nucleocapsids. A range of 20 to 100 CPV-1 profiles were counted per 100 ultrathin cell sections at 6 to 9 hr postinfection when viruses were grown in chick embryo, baby hamster kidney, or mouse L cells. Maximum counts remained in the same range even when the multiplicity of infection was varied over 100-fold. Inhibition of cellular ribonucleic acid (RNA) and protein synthesis by actinomycin D during SFV infection did not decrease the counts of CPV-1; however, biogenesis of CPV-1 was decreased when viral replication was limited by inhibitors of viral RNA synthesis (guanidine) or of viral protein synthesis (cycloheximide). On the basis of present and earlier findings, we concluded that formation of CPV-1 must result from a virus-specified modification of pre-existing host cell macromolecules.
Unique cytoplasmic structures, herein designated as type I cytopathic vacuoles (CPV-I), are found in chick embryo cells early in the logarithmic phase of Semliki Forest virus replication. High resolution autoradiography demonstrated that the CPV-I are loci of 3H-uridine incorporation. This evidence correlates well with previous biochemical data and electron microscopy of the subcellular fractions active in Semliki Forest virus ribonucleic acid synthesis. Origin of the CPV-I within host cell cytoplasm is confirmed by the distribution of electron-dense tracer particles and sequential ultrastructural observations.
Cytoplasmic extracts of chicken embryo fibroblast cells infected with Semliki Forest virus were subjected to isopycnic centrifugation in discontinuous sucrose gradients. Seven distinct bands were usually formed. The four upper bands contained predominantly smooth membranes and the lowest band was enriched in rough endoplasmic reticulum. One fraction (fraction 5), banding at a density of 1.16 g/cm3, was found to be heavily enriched in pulse-labeled ribonucleic acid (RNA), viral RNA polymerase, and viral RNA forms associated with RNA replication. Thus, fraction 5 evidently contained a membrane-associated viral replication complex of a type previously defined in picornavirus infections. Fraction 5 was also consistently enriched with unique membranous structures previously observed in intact cells as type 1 cytopathic vacuoles (CPV-1). When the CPV-1 in fraction 5 were isolated from cells briefly incubated with 3H-uridine and 3H-adenosine prior to cell disruption, a large proportion was found to be labeled by high-resolution autoradiography. Thus, ultrastructural, biochemical, and biological evidence were all consistent with the interpretation that the CPV-1 membranes represent a significant element of the viral replication complex.
To determine the three-dimensional structure of the lumenal membrane of transitional epithelium, a study was made of sectioned, negatively stained, and freeze-etched specimens from intact epithelium and membrane fractions from rabbit urinary bladder. Particulate membrane components are confined to plaque regions within which the unit membrane is asymmetric, having a thicker outer leaflet. Transversely fractured freeze-etched plaques display a thick (∼80 A), particulate lumenal leaflet and a thin (∼40 A) cytoplasmic one. Four different faces of the two leaflets can be distinguished: two complementary, split, inner membrane faces exposed by freeze-cleaving the bilayer and two external (lumenal and cytoplasmic) membrane surfaces revealed by deep-etching. On the split, inner face of the lumenal leaflet appear polygonal plaques of hexagonally arranged particles. These fit into holes observed on the complementary, split, innerface of the cytoplasmic leaflet. The particles, which have a center-to-center spacing of ∼160 A, also seem to protrude from the external surface of the lumenal leaflet, where their subunits (∼50 A in diameter) are revealed by freeze-etching and negative staining. The plaques are separated from each other by smooth-surfaced regions, which cleave like simple lipid bilayers. Since the array of plaque particles covers only ∼73% of the membrane surface area, whereas 27% is taken up by particle-free interplaque regions, the presence of particles cannot in itself entirely account for the permeability barrier of the lumenal membrane. Although no particles are observed protruding from the cytoplasmic surface of the membrane, cytoplasmic filaments are attached to it by short, cross-bridge-like filaments that seem to contact the particles within the membrane. These long cytoplasmic filaments cross-link adjacent plaques. Therefore, we suggest that at least one function of the particles is to serve as anchoring sites for cytoplasmic filaments, which limit the expansion of the lumenal membrane during distention of the bladder, thereby preventing it from rupturing. The particle-free interplaque regions probably function as hinge areas between the stiff plaques, allowing the membrane to fold up when the bladder is contracted.
The nonstructural (ns) proteins nsP1 to -4, the components of Semliki Forest virus (SFV) RNA polymerase, were localized in infected cells by confocal microscopy using double labeling with specific antisera against the individual ns proteins. All ns proteins were associated with large cytoplasmic vacuoles (CPV), the inner surfaces of which were covered by small invaginations, or spherules, typical of alphavirus infection. All ns proteins were localized by immuno-electron microscopy (EM) to the limiting membranes of CPV and to the spherules, together with newly labeled viral RNA. Along with earlier observations by EM-autoradiography (P. M. Grimley, I. K. Berezesky, and R. M. Friedman, J. Virol. 2:326–338, 1968), these results suggest that individual spherules represent template-associated RNA polymerase complexes. Immunoprecipitation of radiolabeled ns proteins showed that each antiserum precipitated the other three ns proteins, implying that they functioned as a complex. Double labeling with organelle-specific and anti-ns-protein antisera showed that CPV were derivatives of late endosomes and lysosomes. Indeed, CPV frequently contained endocytosed bovine serum albumin-coated gold particles, introduced into the medium at different times after infection. With time, increasing numbers of spherules were also observed on the cell surfaces; they were occasionally released into the medium, probably by secretory lysosomes. We suggest that the spherules arise by primary assembly of the RNA replication complexes at the plasma membrane, guided there by nsP1, which has affinity to lipids specific for the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane. Endosomal recycling and fusion of CPV with the plasma membrane can circulate spherules between the plasma membrane and the endosomal-lysosomal compartment.
Pulmonary endothelial cells are capable of metabolizing a variety of circulating hormonal substances. Indirect evidence indicates that some of the relevant enzymes are located on the plasma membrane. The associated caveolae are of special interest as globular subunits, possibly enzyme clusters, are evident in their membranes. In the present study, freeze-etch techniques were used to improve understanding of the fine structure of endothelial cells and to extend our investigations of possible sites of enzymes capable of metabolizing circulating vasoactive agents. As in other cells studied by freeze-etching, intramembranous particles are found on both inner aspects of the plasma membrane. In undifferentiated areas of plasma membrane, the particles appear to have a random distribution. These areas fracture such that approximately equal proportions of the particles adhere to the cytoplasmic aspect of the outer leaflet and the extracellular aspect of the inner leaflet. However, the particles organize into rosettes and plaques at the base of caveolae, and, after fracture, the rosettes and plaques adhere predominantly to the cytoplasmic aspect of the outer leaflet. The peculiar organization of particles in association with caveolae supports the concept that caveolae have a stomal skeletal structure and raises the possibility that the organization may be in some way related to pinocytosis.
Cilia, primarily of the lamellibranch gill (Elliptio and Mytilus), have been examined in freeze-etch replicas. Without etching, cross fractures rarely reveal the 9 + 2 pattern, although suggestions of ninefold symmetry are present. In etched preparations, longitudinal fractures through the matrix show a triplet spoke alignment corresponding to the spoke periodicity seen in thin sections. Dynein rows can be visualized along the peripheral microtubules in some preparations. Fracture faces of the ciliary membrane are smooth with few membrane particles, except in the regions adjacent to the basal plate. In the transition region below the plate, a unique particle arrangement, the ciliary necklace, is found. In the Elliptio gill, on fracture face A the necklace is comprised of three well-defined rows or strands of membrane particles that encircle the ciliary shaft. The rows are scalloped and each scallop corresponds to a peripheral doublet microtubule. In thin sections at the level of these particles, a series of champagne-glass structures link the microtubular doublets to the ciliary membrane. The ciliary necklace and this "membrane-microtubule" complex may be involved in energy transduction or the timing of ciliary beat. Comparative studies show that these features are present in all somatic cilia examined including those of the ameboflagellate Tetramitus, sea urchin embryos, rat trachea, and nonmotile cilia of cultured chick embryo fibroblasts. The number of necklace strands differs with each species. The necklace has not been found in rat or sea urchin sperm.
The changes in membrane structure of rabbit polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes during bacterial phagocytosis was investigated with scanning electron microscope (SEM), thin-section, and freeze-fracture techniques. SEM observations of bacterial attachment sites showed the involvement of limited areas of PMN membrane surface (0.01-0.25μm(2)). Frequently, these areas of attachment were located on membrane extensions. The membrane extensions were present before, during, and after the engulfment of bacteria, but were diminished in size after bacterial engulfment. In general, the results obtained with SEM and thin-section techniques aided in the interpretation of the three-dimensional freeze-fracture replicas. Freeze-fracture results revealed the PMN leukocytes had two fracture faces as determined by the relative density of intramembranous particles (IMP). Membranous extensions of the plasma membrane, lysosomes, and phagocytic vacuoles contained IMP's with a distribution and density similar to those of the plasma membrane. During phagocytosis, IMPs within the plasma membrane did not undergo a massive aggregation. In fact, structural changes within the membranes were infrequent and localized to regions such as the attachment sites of bacteria, the fusion sites on the plasma membrane, and small scale changes in the phagocytic vacuole membrane during membrane fusion. During the formation of the phagocytic vacuole, the IMPs of the plasma membrane appeared to move in with the lipid bilayer while maintaining a distribution and density of IMPs similar to those of the plasma membranes. Occasionally, IMPs were aligned to linear arrays within phagocytic vacuole membranes. This alignment might be due to an interaction with linearly arranged motile structures on the side of the phagocytic vacuole membranes. IMP-free regions were observed after fusion of lysosomes with the phagocytic vacuoles or plasma membrane. These IMP-free areas probably represent sites where membrane fusion occurred between lysosomal membrane and phagocytic vacuole membrane or plasma membrane. Highly symmetrical patterns of IMPs were not observed during lysosomal membrane fusion.
The luminal and discoid vacuole membranes of the superficial cell layer of the transitional epithelium of the mammalian urinary bladder have been studied by thin-sectioning and freeze-fracture-etch (FFE) electron microscope methods. For the FFE studies membranes were deposited on a cationized glass surface, covered by a thin copper disc, and fractured under liquid N2. Specimens were etched at -100 degrees C and replicated at -190 degrees C. A model of the lattice membrane derived from thin sections was used to predict the heights of the fracture faces above the glass surface. A hexagonal pattern of globular intramembrane particles spaced 160 A apart was seen in the external fracture (EF) face plaques as previously described and regarded as the dominant structure. However, very extensive areas of another pattern, seen before in only limited areas, have beeen found in the EF faces. The pattern consists of a smooth hexagonal lattice with the same space constant as the globular one but a different structure. By image analysis it consists of overlapping domains bordered by shared but incomplete metal rims. Each domain has a central spot of metal encircled by a shadow. The surface of the smooth lattice is partly complementary to the corresponding protoplasmic fracture (PF) face which shows a similar hexagonal lattice with the same space constant. The height of the smooth EF lattice above the glass substrate is the same as the plane of the center of the lipid bilayer predicted by the model. The mean heights of the particles of the globular EF lattice are greater than the total thickness of the membrane as predicted by the model and confirmed by measurements. The globular EF lattice is not complementary and it is concluded that the globular particles do not exist in the native membrane but arise artifactually during the preparatory procedures.
The late RNA synthesis in alphavirus-infected cells, generating plus-strand RNAs, takes place on cytoplasmic vacuoles (CPVs), which are modified endosomes and lysosomes. The cytosolic surface of CPVs consists of regular membrane invaginations or spherules, which are the sites of RNA synthesis (P. Kujala, A. Ikäheimonen, N. Ehsani, H. Vihinen, P. Auvinen, and L. Kääriäinen J. Virol. 75:3873-3884, 2001). To understand how CPVs arise, we have expressed the individual Semliki Forest virus (SFV) nonstructural proteins nsP1 to nsP4 in different combinations, as well as their precursor polyprotein P1234 and its cleavage intermediates. A complex of nsPs was obtained from P123 or P1234, indicating that the precursor stage is essential for the assembly of the polymerase complex. To prevent the processing of the polyprotein and its cleavage intermediates, constructs with the mutation C478A (designated with a superscript CA) in the active site of the protease domain of nsP2 were used. Uncleaved polyproteins containing nsP1 were membrane bound and palmitoylated, and those containing nsP3 were phosphorylated, reflecting properties of authentic nsP1 and nsP3, respectively. Similarly, polyproteins containing nsP1 or nsP2 had enzymatic activities specific for the individual proteins, indicating that they were correctly folded in the precursor state. Uncleaved P12CA was localized almost exclusively to the plasma membrane and filopodia, like nsP1 alone, whereas P12CA3 and P12CA34 were found on cytoplasmic vesicles, some of which contained late endosomal markers. In immunoelectron microscopy these vesicles resembled CPVs in SFV-infected cells. Our results indicate that the nsP1 domain alone is responsible for the membrane association of the nonstructural polyprotein, whereas the nsP1 domain together with the nsP3 domain targets it to the intracellular vesicles.
The membrane surfaces within the rod outer segment of the toad, Bufo marinus, were exposed by rapid-freezing followed by freeze-fracture and deep-etching. Platinum-carbon replicas of disk membranes prepared in this way demonstrate a distinct sidedness. The membrane surface that faces the lumen of the disk shows a fine granularity; particles of approximately 6 nm are packed at a density of approximately 30,000/micron 2. These dimensions suggest that the particles represent protrusions of the integral membrane protein, rhodopsin, into the intradisk space. In addition, when rhodopsin packing is intentionally perturbed by exhaustive digestion with phospholipase C, a concomitant change is observed in the appearance of the luminal surface granularity. The cytoplasmic surface of the disk rarely displays this rough texture; instead it exhibits a collection of much larger particles (8-12 nm) present at approximately 10% of the concentration of rhodopsin. This is about the size and concentration expected for certain light-regulated enzymes, cGMP phosphodiesterase and GTP-binding protein, which are currently thought to localize on or near the cytoplasmic surface of the disk. The molecular identity of the 8-12-nm particles will be identified in the following companion paper. A further differentiation of the cytoplasmic surface can be seen around the very edge, or rim, of each disk. This rim has relatively few 8-12- nm particles and instead displays short filamentlike structures connecting it to other membranes. These filaments extend between adjacent disks, across disk incisures, and from disk rims to the nearby plasma membrane.
The ultrastructure of Acinetobacter sp. strain HO1-N grown on hydrocarbon and nonhydrocarbon substrates was compared using thin sections and freeze-etching. Hydrocarbon-grown cells were characterized by the presence of intracytoplasmic membrane-bound hexadecane inclusions. This membrane did not exhibit a typical unit membrane structure but appeared as a monolayer. The freeze-etch technique revealed the internal structure of the hexadecane inclusions and provided evidence for the presence of a smooth-surfaced limiting membrane. Freeze-etching also revealed intracytoplasmic membranes in the hexadecane-grown cells. These ultrastructural modifications were not present in nonhydrocarbon-grown cells. The hexadecane inclusions were isolated from Acinetobacter. Negative-staining of the inclusions revealed electron-transparent vesicles approximating the size of the inclusions seen in whole cells. Freeze-etching of the purified inclusions revealed membrane-bound vesicles. The purified inclusions exhibited a relatively high value of lipid phosphorus to protein. The lipid composition and the electrophoretic banding pattern of the inclusions on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels were determined and compared with other membrane fractions (outer membrane and cytoplasmic membrane) previously isolated from this organism.
The initial events during phagocytosis of latex beads by mouse peritoneal macrophages were visualized by high-resolution electron microscopy of platinum replicas of freeze-dried cells and by conventional thin-section electron microscopy of macrophages postfixed with 1% tannic acid. On the external surface of phagocytosing macrophages, all stages of particle uptake were seen, from early attachment to complete engulfment. Wherever the plasma membrane approached the bead surface, there was a 20-nm-wide gap bridged by narrow strands of material 12.4 nm in diameter. These strands were also seen in thin sections and in replicas of critical-point-dried and freeze-fractured macrophages. When cells were broken open and the plasma membrane was viewed from the inside, many nascent phagosomes had relatively smooth cytoplasmic surfaces with few associated cytoskeletal filaments. However, up to one-half of the phagosomes that were still close to the cell surface after a short phagocytic pulse (2-5 min) had large flat or spherical areas of clathrin basketwork on their membranes, and both smooth and clathrin-coated vesicles were seen fusing with or budding off from them. Clathrin-coated pits and vesicles were also abundant elsewhere on the plasma membranes of phagocytosing and control macrophages, but large flat clathrin patches similar to those on nascent phagosomes were observed only on the attached basal plasma membrane surfaces. These resulted suggest that phagocytosis shares features not only with cell attachment and spreading but also with receptor-mediated pinocytosis.
The structure of the flagellar base in Salmonella typhimurium has been studied by rapid-freeze techniques. Freeze-substituted thin sections and freeze-etched replicas of cell envelope preparations have provided complementary information about the flagellar base. The flagellar base has a bell-shaped extension reaching as far as 50 nm into the bacterial cytoplasm. This structure can be recognized in intact bacteria but was studied in detail in cell envelopes, where some flagella lacking parts of the bell were helpful in understanding its substructure. Structural relationships may be inferred between this cytoplasmic component of the flagellum and the recently described flagellar intramembrane particle rings as well as the structures associated with the basal body in isolated, chemically fixed flagella.
We have examined thin sections and replicas of freeze-fractured cilia of Tetrahymena pyriformis. The ciliary necklace located at the base of all freeze-fractured oral and somatic cilia has been studied in thin sections. Since electron-dense linkers have been found to connect both microtubule doublets and triplets to the ciliary membrane at the level of the necklace, the linkers and the associated necklace seem to be related to the transition region between the doublets and triplets of a cilium. Plaque structures, consisting of small rectangular patches of particles located distal to the ciliary necklace, are found in strain GL, but are absent in other strains examined in this study. In freeze-cleaved material, additional structural differentiations are observed in the distal region of the ciliary membranes of somatic and oral cilia. Somatic cilia contain many randomly distributed particles within their membrane. Oral cilia can be divided into three categories on the basis of the morphology of their freeze-fractured membranes: (a) undifferentiated cilia with very few randomly distributed particles: (b) cilia with particles arranged in parallel longitudinal rows spaced at intervals of 810–1080 Å that are located on one side of the cilium; and (c) cilia with patches of particles arranged in short rows oriented obliquely to the main axis of the cilium. The latter particles, found on one side of the cilium, seem to serve as attachment sites for bristles 375–750 Å long and 100 Å wide which extend into the surrounding medium. The particles with bristles are located at the tips of cilia in the outermost membranelle and may be used to detect food particles and/or to modify currents in the oral region so that food particles are propelled more efficiently into the buccal cavity. Examination of thin-sectioned material indicates that the particles in oral cilia which form the longitudinal rows could be linked to microtubule doublets. Linkage between microtubule doublets and adjacent membrane areas on one side of the cilium could modify the form of ciliary beat by restricting the sliding of the microtubules. It is suggested that membrane-microtubule interactions may form the basis for the various forms of ciliary beat observed in different organisms.
As part of a study of the cell surface changes associated with the production of murine mammary tumor virus, the structure of the envelope of this virus has been examined by using freeze-fracture techniques. Both fracture and deep-etch surfaces were examined. The fracture faces contain 10-nm spheres comparable to those observed on fractured plasma membranes, although fewer in number. Surfaces exposed by etching possess a highly regular hexagonal array of pits 25 nm apart. By examining freeze-fracture and freeze-etch preparations of virus with ferritin covalently bound to its surface, it has been determined that the surface exposed by etching is the outer surface of the virus. The pitted exterior surface of the mammary tumor virus appears to be a unique surface structure.
The receptor-rich postsynaptic membrane of the elasmobranch electric organ was fixed by quick-freezing and then viewed by freeze-fracture, deep-etching and rotary-replication. Traditional freeze-fracture revealed a distinct, geometrical pattern of shallow 8.5-nm bumps on the E fracture-face, similar to the lattice which has been seen before in chemically fixed material, but seen less clearly than after quick- freezing. Fracture plus deep-etching brought into view on the true outside of this membrane a similar geometrical pattern of 8.5-nm projections rising out of the membrane surface. The individual projections looked like structures that have been seen in negatively stained or deep-etched membrane fragments and have been identified as individual acetylcholine receptor molecules. The surface protrusions were twice as abundant as the large intramembrane particles that characterize the fracture faces of this membrane, which have also been considered to be receptor molecules. Particle counts have always been too low to match the estimates of postsynaptic receptor density derived from physiological and biochemical studies; counts of surface projections, however, more closely matched these estimates. Rotary- replication of quick-frozen, etched postsynaptic membranes enhanced the visibility of these surface protuberances and illustrated that they often occur in dimers, tetramers, and ordered rows. The variations in these surface patterns suggested that in vivo, receptors in the postsynaptic membrane may tend to pack into "liquid crystals" which constantly appear, flow, and disappear in the fluid environment of the membrane. Additionally, deep-etching revealed a distinct web of cytoplasmic filaments beneath the postsynaptic membrane, and revealed the basal lamina above it; and delineated possible points of contact between these structures and the membrane proper.
A simple method to achieve results similar to the freeze-etching technique of Moor et al. (1961) is described. The frozen tissue is cut under liquid nitrogen with a razor blade outside the evaporator rather than inside with a cooled microtome. The conditions of the experiment do not favor sublimation, and it is proposed that the structure of the replica be explained by local faults in the cleavage plane which leaves structures, such as membranes, standing above the ice. Micrographs of replicas of glycerol-protected frozen small intestine of mouse prepared by the method are presented and the structural details they show are discussed. The problem of vapor-deposited contamination is discussed. It is concluded that this is a practical method for obtaining electron micrographs that are relatively free of artifact, and that further improvements may be expected from the use of rapidly frozen fresh tissue and a clean vacuum system, possibly of the ion-pumped type.
Membrane crystals of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein complex from pea chloroplasts were investigated using electron microscopy and image analysis. The membrane crystals formed upon precipitation of the detergent-solubilized complex with mono- and divalent cations in the presence of small amounts of Triton X-100. The crystalline fraction contained two polypeptides of 25,000 and 27,000 mol wt. Freeze-dried and freeze-etched specimens showed a periodic honeycomb structure on the surface of membrane crystals. Double replicas of freeze-fractured sheets showed a hexagonal lattice of particles on both fracture faces. Image analysis of negatively stained membrane crystals suggested that they had threefold rather than sixfold symmetry in projection. A projection map at 20-A resolution revealed two triangular structural units of opposite handedness per crystallographic unit cell. The structural units appeared to be inserted bidirectionally into the membrane, alternating in orientation perpendicular to the membrane plane.
The growth and development of Semliki Forest virus (SFV), an arbovirus of serological group A, in HEp-2 cells in tissue culture was examined by various techniques at frequent intervals. Infectivity and fluorescent-antibody studies demonstrated the presence of infective virus and viral antigens within the cells at 8 hr after infection. The antigen was particulate and distributed throughout the cytoplasm. Thereafter, there was rapid progression of virus production and cell destruction. By electron microscopy, tubular structures bounded by a fine membrane were observed in cytoplasm at 12 hr. Rows of small (25 mμ) virus particles were often present on the outer surface of these membranes, and at later times they became progressively more encrusted with the small virus particles. These structures subsequently increased rapidly in number, size, and complexity, and the space between the membrane and the tubules increased, thus forming vacuoles which contained tubules and were covered with the small particles. At later times (24 hr and later) larger (42 to 50 mμ) particles were observed, usually inside of the vacuoles. These larger particles (and occasionally the smaller ones) were also seen at the cell periphery and in the extracellular space. The large SFV particles appear to form by three distinct processes: (i) from the smaller particles, (ii) by development on an intravacuolar membrane, and (iii) at the ends of the tubules. The mode of development of SFV is unique among viruses studied to date, but in some characteristics it resembles that of other group A arboviruses. Its development differs from that of most arboviruses of group B and other serological groups.
The cytoskeleton that supports microvilli in intestinal epithelial cells
was visualized by the quick-freeze, deep-etch, rotary-replication technique
(Heuser and Salpeter. 1979. J. Cell Biol. 82: 150). Before quick freezing,
cells were exposed to detergents or broken open physically to clear away
the granular material in their cytoplasm that would otherwise obscure the
view. After such extraction, cells still displayed a characteristic
organization of cytoskeletal filaments in their interiors. Platinum
replicas of these cytoskeletons had sufficient resolution to allow us to
identify the filament types present, and to determine their characteristic
patterns of interaction. The most important new finding was that the apical
"terminal web" in these cells, which supports the microvilli via their core
bundles of actin filaments, does not itself contain very much actin but
instead is comprised largely of narrow strands that interconnect adjacent
actin bundles with one another and with the underlying base of intermediate
filaments. These strands are slightly thinner than actin, do not display
actin's 53A periodicity, and do not decorate with myosin subfragment S1. On
the contrary, two lines of evidence suggested that these strands, could
include myosin molecules. First, other investigators have shown that myosin
is present in the terminal web (Mooseker et al. 1978. J. Cell Biol. 79:
444-453), yet we could find no thick filaments in this area. Second, we
found that the strands were removed completely in the process of decorating
the core filament bundles with the myosin subfragment S1, suggesting that
they had been competitively displaced by exogenous myosin. We conclude that
myosin may play a structural role in these cells, via its cross-linking
distribution, in addition to whatever role it plays in microvillar
We have studied fluid secretion by the contractile vacuole apparatuss of the trypanosomatid flagellate Leptomonas collosoma with thin sections and freeze-fracture replicas of cells stabilized by ultrarapid freezing without prior fixation or cryoprotection. The ultrarapid freezing has revealed membrane specializations related to fluid segregation and transport as well as membrane rearrangements which may accompany water expulsion at systole. This osmoregulatory apparatu consists of the spongiome, the contractile vacuole, and the fluid discharge site. The coated tubules of the spongiome converge on the contractile vacuole from all directions. These 60- to 70-nm tubules contain characteristic double rows of 11-nm intramembrane particles in a helical configuration which fracture predominantly with the E face. Short double rows of similar particles are also frequently found on both faces of the contractile vacuole itself, in addition to many smaller particles on the P face. The spongiome tubules fuse with the vacuole during the filling stage of each cycle and then detach before secretion. The contractile vacuole membrane is permanently attached to the plasma membrane of the flagellar pocket by a dense adhesion plaque. In some ultrarapidly frozen cells, 20- to 40-nm perforations can be visualized within the plaque and the adjacent membranes during the presumptive time of discharge. The formation of the plaque perforations and the membrane channels occurs without fusion of the vacuole and the plasma membrane and does not require extracellular calcium. On the basis of our results, we have developed a model for water secretion which suggests that the adhesion plaque may induce pore formation in the adjoining lipid bilayers, thereby allowing bulk expulsion of the fluid.
The present study was designed to investigate the endocytic pathway involved in canine parvovirus (CPV) infection. Reduced temperature (18°C) or the microtubule-depolymerizing drug nocodazole was found to inhibit productive infection of canine A72 cells by CPV and caused CPV to be retained in cytoplasmic vesicles as indicated by immunofluorescence microscopy. Consistent with previously published results, these data indicate that CPV enters a host cell via an endocytic route and further suggest that microtubule-dependent delivery of CPV to late endosomes is required for productive infection. Cytoplasmic microinjection of CPV particles was used to circumvent the endocytosis and membrane fusion steps in the entry process. Microinjection experiments showed that CPV particles which were injected directly into the cytoplasm, thus avoiding the endocytic pathway, were unable to initiate progeny virus production. CPV treated at pH 5.0 prior to microinjection was unable to initiate virus production, showing that factors of the endocytic route other than low pH are necessary for the initiation of infection by CPV.
Freeze-fracture and freeze-etch techniques have been employed to study the supramolecular structure of isolated spinach chloroplast membranes and to monitor structural changes associated with in vitro unstacking and restacking of these membranes. High-resolution particle size histograms prepared from the four fracture faces of normal chloroplast membranes reveal the presence of four distinct categories of intramembranous particles that are nonrandomly distributed between grana and stroma membranes. The large surface particles show a one to one relationship with the EF-face particles. Since the distribution of these particles between grana and stroma membranes coincides with the distribution of photosystem II (PS II) activity, it is argued that they could be structural equivalents of PS II complexes. An interpretative model depicting the structural relationship between all categories of particles is presented. Experimental unstacking of chloroplast membranes in low-salt medium for at least 45 min leads to a reorganization of the lamellae and to a concomitant intermixing of the different categories of membrane particles by means of translational movements in the plane of the membrane. In vitro restacking of such experimentally unstacked chloroplast membranes can be achieved by adding 2-20 mM MgCl2 or 100-200 mM NaCl to the membrane suspension. Membranes allowed to restack for at least 1 h at room temperature demonstrate a resegregation of the EF-face particles into the newly formed stacked membrane regions to yield a pattern and a size distribution nearly indistinguishable from the normally stacked controls. Restacking occurs in two steps: a rapid adhesion of adjoining stromal membrane surfaces with little particle movement, and a slower diffusion of additional large intramembranous particles into the stacked regions where they become trapped. Chlorophyll a:chlorophyll b ratios of membrane fraction obtained from normal, unstacked, and restacked membranes show that the particle movements are paralleled by movements of pigment molecules. The directed and reversible movements of membrane particles in isolated chloroplasts are compared with those reported for particles of plasma membranes.
The freeze-etching technique, which is a special kind of freeze-drying, allows electron microscopic investigation of cells and tissues in the frozen state. In regard to yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) a freeze-fixation technique has been developed which does not kill the object. The electron micrographs therefore are considered to impart an image of high fidelity. The cutting of the frozen object, which actually consists of a fine splintering, produces not only cross-sectional views (cross-fractures) of the structures but also surface views of the membranes and organelles. Many surface structures are described which have not been shown by the usual sectioning techniques. The cytoplasmic membrane contains hexagonal arrangements of particles which are apparently involved in the production of the glucan fibrils of the cell wall. Alterations of the distribution of nuclear pores are shown in cells of different ages. Freeze-etching enables a clear distinction of endoplasmic reticulum and vacuoles in yeast cells. The membranes of the vesicular systems are covered by ribosomes arranged in circular patterns. The mitochondrial envelope shows small perforations which could allow the exchange of macromolecules. The storage granules consist of concentric layers of lipid, presumably phosphatide. A Golgi apparatus has been detected which may be involved in the storage of lipid. The structure of the unit membrane and the membrane structures of all organelles as revealed by chemical fixation are confirmed in principle. Glycogen agglomerations are identified in the ground plasm of older cells. Insight into artifacts introduced by common chemical fixation and embedding techniques is obtained and discussed.