That one's easy for me, but I probably wouldn't
be able to find the answer on the Internet. I
wrote my PhD thesis on Paramecium, which is
another of those unicellular eukaryotes. It's
covered with a thick protein coat outside its cell
membrane. The protein is called the
'immobilization antigen,' and I wrote a
paper called, "The immobilization antigen of
Paramecium Aurelia is a single giant polypeptide
chain." This was a big debate around 1970, because
the main lab said it was a small protein, and some
little group in Australia said it was a giant
protein. I discovered the protein broke down into
little pieces under the conditions that the main
lab was using to isolate it. The guy who led the
Australian lab was happy with my result ;-]
So, yes, unicellular eukaryotes export
proteins, to give themselves a protective coat and
maybe for other purposes, such as for signaling to
other cells. I looked on the Internet but didn't
find anything about this.
Thanks for your fun question!
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