The general research program in this laboratory deals with how cells can exhibit directed movements of plasma membrane glycoproteins. In particular, we are studying the role of cytoskeleton-plasma membrane interactions in the movement of plasma membrane glycoproteins responsible for whole cell locomotion. We are using a combined immunological, biochemical and genetic approach to this problem utilizing a model system, the flagellar membrane of the eukaryotic single celled alga, Chlamydomonas. The flagellar surface, as is the case for the general cell surface in mammalian cells, exhibits both sensory and motor properties, which are interconnected by a signaling pathway. Our working model is that the cell surface recognizes contact with a solid substrate, activates a transmembrane signaling pathway which activates intracellular cytoskeletal motors that generate force to move plasma membrane glycoproteins in the plane of the plasma membrane. Movement of plasma membrane proteins that are adherent to the substrate result in whole cell locomotion.