Regulated targeting of a protein kinase into a intact flagellum: An aurora/IpI1p-like protein kinase translocates from the cell body into the flagella during gamete activation in Chlamydomonas

Junmin Pan, William J. Snell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii flagellar adhesion between gametes of opposite mating types leads to rapid cellular changes, events collectively termed gamete activation, that prepare the gametes for cell-cell fusion. As is true for gametes of most organisms, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie gamete activation are poorly understood. Here we report on the regulated movement of a newly identified protein kinase, Chlamydomonas aurora/Ipl1p-like protein kinase (CALK), from the cell body to the flagella during gamete activation. CALK encodes a protein of 769 amino acids and is the newest member of the aurora/Ipl1p protein kinase family. Immunoblotting with an anti-CALK antibody showed that CALK was present as a 78/80-kDa doublet in vegetative cells and unactivated gametes of both mating types and was localized primarily in cell bodies. In cells undergoing fertilization, the 78-kDa CALK was rapidly targeted to the flagella, and within 5 min after mixing gametes of opposite mating types, the level of CALK in the flagella began to approach levels normally found in the cell body. Protein synthesis was not required for targeting, indicating that the translocated CALK and the cellular molecules required for its movement are present in unactivated gametes. CALK was also translocated to the flagella during flagellar adhesion of non fusing mutant gametes, demonstrating that cell fusion was not required for movement. Finally, the requirement for flagellar adhesion could be bypassed; incubation of cells of a single mating type in dibutyryl cAMP led to CALK translocation to flagella in gametes but not vegetative cells. These experiments document a new event in gamete activation in Chlamydomonas and reveal the existence of a mechanism for regulated translocation of molecules into an intact flagellum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24106-24114
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume275
Issue number31
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 4 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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