Growth inhibition and changes in morphology and actin distribution in Acetabularia acetabulum by phalloidin and phalloidin derivatives.

PMID 12664285


Effects on morphology and microfilament structure caused by phalloidin, phallacidin, and some semisynthetic phalloidin derivatives were studied in vegetative cells of the green alga Acetabularia acetabulum (L.) Silva. All phalloidin derivatives (except for phalloidin itself) caused growth stop of the alga after 1 day and (except for the fluorescein-labeled phalloidin) death of the cells after 4-7 days. Hair whorl tip growth and morphology as screened by light microscopy, as well as microfilament structure in tips, suggested that growth stop is correlated with a disorganization of actin filaments similar to that recently described for jasplakinolide (H. Sawitzky, S. Liebe, J. Willingale-Theune, D. Menzel, European Journal of Cell Biology 78: 424-433, 1999). Using rabbit muscle actin as a model target protein, we found that the toxic effects in vivo did not correlate with actin affinity values, suggesting that permeation through membranes must play a role. Indeed, the most lipophilic phalloidin derivatives benzoylphalloidin and dithiolanophalloidin were the most active in causing growth stop at ca. 100 microM. In comparison to the concentration of jasplakinolide required to cause similar effects (<3 microM), the two most active phalloidin derivatives exhibited an activity ca. 30 times lower. Nonetheless, lipophilic phalloidin derivatives can be used in algae, and probably also other cells, to modulate actin dynamics in vivo. In addition, we found that the fluorescent fluorescein isothiocyanate-phalloidin is able to enter living algal cells and stains actin structures brightly. Since it does not suppress actin dynamics, we suggest fluorescein isothiocyanate-phalloidin as a tool for studying rearrangements of actin structures in live cells, e.g., by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

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Phallacidin from Amanita phalloides, ≥85%