Single cells of the marine sponge Geodia cydonium aggregate species-specifically in the presence of a soluble aggregation factor to form large cell clumps. A lectin isolated from the same sponge species does not cause agglutination of Geodia cells but agglutinates only cells from heterologous species (e.g. Tethya lyncurium, Hemimycale columella, Pellina semitubulosa, Cacospongia scalaris, Verongia aerophoba). The process of agglutination is independent of divalent cations (they do not affect the agglutination process at concentrations up to 50 mM), occurs at 2°C, causes a reduction in the viability of the cells and results in an inhibition of programmed syntheses. The observed differences between the properties of cell agglutination (effect of a lectin in a heterologous system) and cell aggregation (effect of an aggregation factor in the homologous system) is discussed. Cell aggregation is dependent upon the presence of an aggregation factor, the presence of cations and an incubation temperature 2̃0°C; cell aggregation results in a stimulation of programmed syntheses. Cell agglutination requires a heterologous macromolecule (e.g. lectin), it is independent of divalent cations and causes inhibition of programmed syntheses in the cells. © 1980, All rights reserved.
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