Some species of the family Ascidiidae accumulate vanadium in concentrations in excess of 350 mM, which is about 107-fold higher than the concentration of vanadium in seawater. In these species, signet ring cells with a single large vacuole in which vanadium ions are contained function as vanadium-accumulating cells. These have been termed vanadocytes. We recently isolated five vanadium-binding proteins, which we named Vanabin1, Vanabin2, Vanabin3, Vanabin4, and VanabinP, from vanadocytes of the vanadium-rich ascidian Ascidia sydneiensis samea. In this study, we analyzed localization of the Vanabins in the blood cells of A. sydneiensis samea using monoclonal antibodies and confocal microscopy. The Vanabin1 and Vanabin2 proteins were found in the cytoplasm and/or in some organelles of vanadocytes. Vanabin3 was also detected in the cytoplasm, while Vanabin4 was found exclusively in the cytoplasmic membrane.
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