Calcium regulation of pigment transport in vitro

M. A. McNiven, J. B. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Calcium has been implicated in the regulation of many cellular motility events. In this study we have examined the role of different Ca2+ concentrations on the in vitro transport of pigment within cultured chromatophores. Cells treated with Brij detergent for 1-2 min were stripped of their plasma membranes, leaving their cytoskeleton and associated pigment granules exposed to the external milieu. We found that retrograde pigment transport (aggregation) is induced upon addition of 1 mM MgATP2- with 10-7 M free Ca2+, while an orthograde transport (redispersal) of pigment results from lowering the concentration of free Ca2+ to 10-8 M while maintaining 1 mM MgATP2-. These Ca2+-regulated movements are ATP dependent but are apparently independent of cAMP and insensitive to calmodulin inhibitors. The observations reported here provide novel evidence that the concentration of free Ca2+ acts to regulate the direction of intracellular organelle transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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