The flagellar surface of Chlamydomonas moewusii is a dynamic structure involved in several adhesive and motile events. In this report, we describe for the first time the flagellar membrane components of vegetative C. moewusii. A glycoprotein (or pair of glycoproteins) with an apparent molecular weight of 240 × 10(3) is the dominant flagellar protein (other than the tubulins) in this species of Chlamydomonas. Both a rabbit polyclonal antibody (designated P-19) and the lectin concanavalin A recognize this 240K (K = 10(3) Mr) glycoprotein on nitrocellulose transblots of flagellar proteins. Fluorescence microscopic studies using these same two probes suggest that the 240K glycoprotein is exposed at the flagellar surface. Direct evidence that the 240K glycoprotein is exposed at the flagellar surface is provided by vectorial labelling with a N-hydroxysuccinamide derivitized biotin reagent (NHS-LC-biotin). Nonionic detergent extraction of isolated flagella fails to solubilize most of the 240K glycoprotein, although it completely removes the flagellar membranes as demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, immunofluorescence microscopy of isolated axonemes demonstrates that both P-19-defined epitopes and surface-biotinylated proteins continue to be associated with the axoneme structure after detergent treatment. These observations demonstrate that the 240K flagellar protein is a glycoprotein that is both exposed at the flagellar surface and tightly coupled to the underlying cytoskeleton (axoneme). Because of its cell surface orientation and axonemal linkage, it is likely that the 240K glycoprotein plays an important role in the adhesive and/or motile phenomena exhibited by the C. moewusii flagellar surface.

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