|Abstract:A Dictyostelium membrane fraction rich in vacuolar proton pumps, previously described by Nolta et al. (J. Biol. Chem. 266, 18,318-18,323, 1991), was used as the immunogen for production of monoclonal antibodies. We obtained antibodies that recognized polypeptides of 100 kDa and 68 kDa, corresponding to the two largest subunits of the vacuolar proton pump. In indirect immunofluorescence experiments, these two subunits were located on an interconnected collection of tubules and vacuoles. On frozen thin sections they were found principally on membranes of vacuoles and collections of small vesicles typically located just internal to the plasma membrane. These vesicles and vacuoles had electron-translucent lumens. No other structures in axenically grown Dictyostelium cells were labeled to a significant extent by these two antibodies. Using an affinity-purified antibody to calmodulin and a monospecific antibody to the B subunit of the chromaffin granule vacuolar ATPase, markers known to label the membranes of the contractile vacuole complex in Dictyostelium (Zhu and Clarke, J. Cell Biol. 118, 347-358, 1992; Heuser et al., J. Cell Biol. 121, 1311-1327, 1993), we showed that the 100 kDa and 68 kDa subunits had the same distribution as these two markers. Co-localization was seen in both interphase and mitotic cells. Thus, our results support the conclusion that vacuolar proton pumps are located principally on the membranes of the contractile vacuole complex in Dictyostelium. In addition, in indirect immunofluorescence experiments, these monoclonal antibodies provided improved images of the organization of the contractile vacuole system.