• confocal laser scanning microscopy;
  • F-antigen;
  • Golgi apparatus;
  • immunoelectron microscopy;
  • Tetrahymena mutants;
  • transport vesicles


The expression and intracellular localization of the Tetrahymena homolog of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) were investigated in wild-type Tetrahymena thermophila strain B1868 VII and the mutant strains IIG8, defective in food vacuole formation, MS-1, blocked in secretion of lysosomal enzymes, and SB 281, defective in mucocyst maturation. Immunoelectron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy demonstrated that Tetrahymena HPPD primarily localized to membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, Tetrahymena HPPD was detected in association with membranes of the Golgi apparatus, and transport vesicles in exponentially growing wild-type and mutant strains. In starved cells, Tetrahymena HPPD localized exclusively to membranes of small vesicles. Since no de novo synthesis ofTetrahymena HPPD takes place in cells starved for more than 30min, these results suggest that there is a flow ofTetrahymena HPPD from the endoplasmic reticulum to small vesicles, possibly via the Golgi apparatus, and thatTetrahymena HPPD contains a signal for vesicle membrane retrieval or retention.