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Since the historical experiment on the contraction of glycerinated muscle by adding ATP, which Szent-Györgyi demonstrated in the mid-20th century, in vitro reactivation of demembranated cells has been a traditional and potent way to examine cell motility. The fundamental advantage of this experimental method is that the composition of the reactivation solution may be easily changed. For example, a high-Ca2+ concentration environment that occurs only temporarily due to membrane excitation in vivo can be replicated in the lab. Eukaryotic cilia (a.k.a. flagella) are elaborate motility machinery whose regulatory mechanisms are still to be clarified. The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is an excellent model organism in the research field of cilia. The reactivation experiments using demembranated cell models of C. reinhardtii and their derivatives, such as demembranated axonemes of isolated cilia, have significantly contributed to understanding the molecular mechanisms of ciliary motility. Those experiments clarified that ATP energizes ciliary motility and that various cellular signals, including Ca2+, cAMP, and reactive oxygen species, modulate ciliary movements. The precise method for demembranation of C. reinhardtii cells and reactivation of the cell models is described here.


Noriko Ueki, Atsuko Isu, Ken-Ichi Wakabayashi. Reactivation of Demembranated Cell Models in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2022 May 06(183)

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PMID: 35604171

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