Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) influences both flagellar function and flagellar regeneration in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The methylxanthine, aminophylline, which can cause a tenfold increase in cAMP level in C. reinhardtii, inhibits flagellar movement and flagellar regeneration by wild-type cells, without inhibiting cell multiplication. Caffeine, a closely related inhibitor, also inhibits flagellar movement and regeneration, but it inhibits cell multiplication too. Regeneration by a mutant lacking the central pair of flagellar microtubules was found to be more sensitive than wild type to inhibition by caffeine and to be subject to synergistic inhibition by aminophylline plus dibutyryl cAMP. Regeneration by three out of seven mutants with different flagellar abnormalities was more sensitive than wild type to these inhibitors. We interpret these results to mean that cAMP affects a component of the flagellum directly or indirectly, and that the responsiveness of that component to cAMP is enhanced by mutations which affect the integrity of the flagellum. The component in question could be microtubule protein.

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