The culture medium of growing Chlamydomonas reinhardii cells contains hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins, which are mainly liberated during release of the zoospores from the mother-cell wall. Pulse-labelling studies with [3H]proline and [35S]methionine have been performed in order to detect the protein components released by synchronously growing cells at different stages of the cell cycle. When either [3H]proline or [35S]methionine were applied during the phase of cell growth, radioactive label appeared in the released macromolecules after a lag period of 40 min, whereas incorporation into the insoluble part of the cell wall was delayed only by 20 min. When applied at the end of the growth phase, e.g. 13 h after beginning of the illumination period, the radioactive amino acids were incorporated into the cell wall, but radioactive labelling of macromolecules released into the culture medium could not be detected before the zoospores were liberated from the mother-cell wall. Maximal incorporation of [3H]proline and [35S]methionine into the insoluble part of the cell wall was observed during cell division, but essentially no radioactively-labelled macromolecules were released into the culture medium during this time period. Analysis of the macromolecules, which were liberated during cell enlargement, by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis revealed distinct radioactive bands, which were differentially labelled with [3H]proline and [35S]methionine. Among the macromolecules released into the culture medium during cell growth, a component of an apparent Mr 35 000 was preferentially labelled with [3H]proline. This component was also detected after labelling with [35S]methionine, but components of an apparently higher Mr were more prominent after labelling with [35S]methionine. Macromolecules released during the cell-enlargement period of synchronously growing cultures in the presence of [3H]proline contained radioactively-labelled hydroxyproline in addition to proline. These results show that, during cell-wall growth, specific protein components are released into the culture medium and that at least one of these components contains large amounts of proline and hydroxyproline. At least some of these macromolecules seem to be constituents of the cell wall, because during pulse-chase experiments radioactively-labelled macromolecules appeared in the culture medium mainly during the time period when the specific radioactivity of the insoluble inner-cell-wall layer decreased.

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