Cytochalasin B inhibits the formation of normal-sized food vacuoles in Tetrahymena but the cells do not starve. Treated cells differ from starved cells in that they retain a high rate of incorporation of tritiated uridine. Large numbers of smaller vacuoles, about 1 micrometer in diameter, are formed, presumably by pinocytic activity of the cytopharyngeal membrane. This effect may perhaps be due to interference with the mechanism by which food vacuoles are sealed off at the cytostome, in which microfilaments may participate. Inhibited organisms may form tubes continuous with the cytopharynx instead of separate food vacuoles. It is not clear, however, why the formation of the small vacuoles is resistant to the drug.
- © 1977 by Company of Biologists