Science.gov

Sample records for dictyostelium discoideum cenb

  1. Dictyostelium discoideum CenB Is a Bona Fide Centrin Essential for Nuclear Architecture and Centrosome Stability ▿

    PubMed Central

    Mana-Capelli, Sebastian; Gräf, Ralph; Larochelle, Denis A.

    2009-01-01

    Centrins are a family of proteins within the calcium-binding EF-hand superfamily. In addition to their archetypical role at the microtubule organizing center (MTOC), centrins have acquired multiple functionalities throughout the course of evolution. For example, centrins have been linked to different nuclear activities, including mRNA export and DNA repair. Dictyostelium discoideum centrin B is a divergent member of the centrin family. At the amino acid level, DdCenB shows 51% identity with its closest relative and only paralog, DdCenA. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that DdCenB and DdCenA form a well-supported monophyletic and divergent group within the centrin family of proteins. Interestingly, fluorescently tagged versions of DdCenB were not found at the centrosome (in whole cells or in isolated centrosomes). Instead, DdCenB localized to the nuclei of interphase cells. This localization disappeared as the cells entered mitosis, although Dictyostelium cells undergo a closed mitosis in which the nuclear envelope (NE) does not break down. DdCenB knockout cells exhibited aberrant nuclear architecture, characterized by enlarged and deformed nuclei and loss of proper centrosome-nucleus anchoring (observed as NE protrusions). At the centrosome, loss of DdCenB resulted in defects in the organization and morphology of the MTOC and supernumerary centrosomes and centrosome-related bodies. The multiple defects that the loss of DdCenB generated at the centrosome can be explained by its atypical division cycle, transitioning into the NE as it divides at mitosis. On the basis of these findings, we propose that DdCenB is required at interphase to maintain proper nuclear architecture, and before delocalizing from the nucleus, DdCenB is part of the centrosome duplication machinery. PMID:19465563

  2. Cellulose biogenesis in Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Blanton, R.L.

    1993-12-31

    Organisms that synthesize cellulose can be found amongst the bacteria, protistans, fungi, and animals, but it is in plants that the importance of cellulose in function (as the major structural constituent of plant cell walls) and economic use (as wood and fiber) can be best appreciated. The structure of cellulose and its biosynthesis have been the subjects of intense investigation. One of the most important insights gained from these studies is that the synthesis of cellulose by living organisms involves much more than simply the polymerization of glucose into a (1{r_arrow}4)-{beta}-linked polymer. The number of glucoses in a polymer (the degree of polymerization), the crystalline form assumed by the glucan chains when they crystallize to form a microfibril, and the dimensions and orientation of the microfibrils are all subject to cellular control. Instead of cellulose biosynthesis, a more appropriate term might be cellulose biogenesis, to emphasize the involvement of cellular structures and mechanisms in controlling polymerization and directing crystallization and deposition. Dictyostelium discoideum is uniquely suitable for the study of cellulose biogenesis because of its amenability to experimental study and manipulation and the extent of our knowledge of its basic cellular mechanisms (as will be evident from the rest of this volume). In this chapter, I will summarize what is known about cellulose biogenesis in D. discoideum, emphasizing its potential to illuminate our understanding both of D. discoideum development and plant cellulose biogenesis.

  3. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Schaap, Pauline

    2011-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum belongs to a group of multicellular life forms that can also exist for long periods as single cells. This ability to shift between uni- and multicellularity makes the group ideal for studying the genetic changes that occurred at the crossroads between uni- and multicellular life. In this Primer, I discuss the mechanisms that control multicellular development in Dictyostelium discoideum and reconstruct how some of these mechanisms evolved from a stress response in the unicellular ancestor. PMID:21205784

  4. A phototaxis signalling complex in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Bandala-Sanchez, Esther; Annesley, Sarah J; Fisher, Paul R

    2006-09-01

    Phototaxis has been studied in a variety of organisms belonging to all three major taxonomic domains - the bacteria, the archaea and the eukarya. Dictyostelium discoideum is one of a small number of eukaryotic organisms which are amenable to studying the signalling pathways involved in phototaxis. In this study we provide evidence based on protein coimmunoprecipitation for a phototaxis signalling complex in Dictyostelium that includes the proteins RasD, filamin, ErkB, GRP125 and PKB.

  5. Chemoattractant signaling in dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Manahan, Carol L; Iglesias, Pablo A; Long, Yu; Devreotes, Peter N

    2004-01-01

    Dictyostelium is an accessible organism for studies of signaling via chemoattractant receptors. Chemoattractant-mediated signaling events and components are reviewed and presented as a series of connected modules, including excitation, inhibition, G protein-independent responses, early gene expression, inositol lipids, PH domain-containing proteins, cyclic AMP signaling, polarization acquisition, actin polymerization, and cortical myosin. The network incorporates information from biochemical, genetic, and cell biological experiments carried out on living cells. The modules and connections represent current understanding, and future information is expected to modify and build upon this structure.

  6. Characterization of Dictyostelium discoideum cathepsin D.

    PubMed

    Journet, A; Chapel, A; Jehan, S; Adessi, C; Freeze, H; Klein, G; Garin, J

    1999-11-01

    Previous studies using magnetic purification of Dictyostelium discoideum endocytic vesicles led us to the identification of some major vesicle proteins. Using the same purification procedure, we have now focused our interest on a 44 kDa soluble vesicle protein. Microsequencing of internal peptides and subsequent cloning of the corresponding cDNA identified this protein as the Dictyostelium homolog of mammalian cathepsins D. The only glycosylation detected on Dictyostelium cathepsin D (CatD) is common antigen 1, a cluster of mannose 6-sulfate residues on N-linked oligosaccharide chains. CatD intracellular trafficking has been studied, showing the presence of the protein throughout the entire endocytic pathway. During the differentiation process, the catD gene presents a developmental regulation, which is also observed at the protein level. catD gene disruption does not alter significantly the cell behaviour, either in the vegetative form or the differentiation stage. However, modifications in the SDS-PAGE profiles of proteins bearing common antigen 1 were detected, when comparing parental and catD(-) cells. These modifications point to a possible role of CatD in the maturation of a few Dictyostelium lysosomal proteins.

  7. Centromere sequence and dynamics in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Glöckner, Gernot; Heidel, Andrew J.

    2009-01-01

    Centromeres play a pivotal role in the life of a eukaryote cell, perform an essential and conserved function, but this has not led to a standard centromere structure. It remains currently unclear, how the centromeric function is achieved by widely differing structures. Since centromeres are often large and consist mainly of repetitive sequences they have only been analyzed in great detail in a handful of organisms. The genome of Dictyostelium discoideum, a valuable model organism, was described a few years ago but its centromere organization remained largely unclear. Using available sequence information we reconstructed the putative centromere organization in three of the six chromosomes of D. discoideum. They mainly consist of one type of transposons that is confined to centromeric regions. Centromeres are dynamic due to transposon integration, but an optimal centromere size seems to exist in D. discoideum. One centromere probably has expanded recently, whereas another underwent major rearrangements. In addition to insights into the centromere organization and dynamics of a protist eukaryote, this work also provides a starting point for the analysis of the evolution of centromere structures in social amoebas by comparative genomics. PMID:19179372

  8. Centromere sequence and dynamics in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Glöckner, Gernot; Heidel, Andrew J

    2009-04-01

    Centromeres play a pivotal role in the life of a eukaryote cell, perform an essential and conserved function, but this has not led to a standard centromere structure. It remains currently unclear, how the centromeric function is achieved by widely differing structures. Since centromeres are often large and consist mainly of repetitive sequences they have only been analyzed in great detail in a handful of organisms. The genome of Dictyostelium discoideum, a valuable model organism, was described a few years ago but its centromere organization remained largely unclear. Using available sequence information we reconstructed the putative centromere organization in three of the six chromosomes of D. discoideum. They mainly consist of one type of transposons that is confined to centromeric regions. Centromeres are dynamic due to transposon integration, but an optimal centromere size seems to exist in D. discoideum. One centromere probably has expanded recently, whereas another underwent major rearrangements. In addition to insights into the centromere organization and dynamics of a protist eukaryote, this work also provides a starting point for the analysis of the evolution of centromere structures in social amoebas by comparative genomics.

  9. Scaling law for Dictyostelium Discoideum mounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voeltz, Camilla; Bodenschatz, Eberhard

    2004-03-01

    Little is known about how multicellular organisms regulate the size of their tissues during development. The eukaryote Dictyostelium Discoideum, may be studied as a model system. When starved, these amoebae aggregate and form cell mounds. These mounds develop into moving slugs and fruiting bodies consisting of a spore mass held atop a rigid stem of stalk cells. We report experiments on the development of mounds of Dicty-cells when confined to different heights. At the smallest height the amoebae are confined to a monolayer of cells in a 2d-plane. We found that the confinement inhibited the development of moving slugs and fruiting bodies. The cells aggregated and formed mounds whose size was found to be proportional to the height of the mounds. The precise mechanism is yet unknown. We will present the data and discuss possible mechanisms. This work is supported by the NSF through the Biocomplexity Program.

  10. Ca2+ chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Scherer, Amanda; Kuhl, Spencer; Wessels, Deborah; Lusche, Daniel F; Raisley, Brent; Soll, David R

    2010-11-01

    Using a newly developed microfluidic chamber, we have demonstrated in vitro that Ca(2+) functions as a chemoattractant of aggregation-competent Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae, that parallel spatial gradients of cAMP and Ca(2+) are more effective than either alone, and that cAMP functions as a stronger chemoattractant than Ca(2+). Effective Ca(2+) gradients are extremely steep compared with effective cAMP gradients. This presents a paradox because there is no indication to date that steep Ca(2+) gradients are generated in aggregation territories. However, given that Ca(2+) chemotaxis is co-acquired with cAMP chemotaxis during development, we speculate on the role that Ca(2+) chemotaxis might have and the possibility that steep, transient Ca(2+) gradients are generated during natural aggregation in the interstitial regions between cells.

  11. Lipopolysaccharide enhances bactericidal activity in Dictyostelium discoideum cells

    PubMed Central

    Walk, Alexander; Callahan, Jennifer; Srisawangvong, Pat; Leuschner, Jessica; Samaroo, Dave; Cassilly, Daniel; Snyder, Michelle L.D.

    2011-01-01

    Innate immune cells respond to invading microbes upon detection of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPS). PAMP-recognition machinery is evolutionarily conserved, allowing for characterization in model organisms. The model organism Dictyostelium discoideum can exist as single-celled amoebae, which phagocytize bacteria for nutrients. Although D. discoideum is used extensively to study phagocytosis, it has not been determined if D. discoideum detects bacterial PAMPs using pattern-recognition machinery. Here we show that D. discoideum mounts responses against the bacterial cell wall PAMP, lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Upon treatment with LPS or its active component Lipid A, D. discoideum cells more efficiently clear phagocytized bacteria. LPS-enhanced bactericidal activity appears dependent both on MAPK signaling pathways as well as on the D. discoideum toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain-containing protein, TirA. These findings indicate that pattern-recognition machinery required to detect and respond to bacterial PAMPs may be conserved in D. discoideum. PMID:21527280

  12. GPCR-controlled chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Jin, Tian

    2011-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum has been chosen as the key model organism for the study of eukaryotic chemotaxis. Studies in this lower eukaryotic organism have allowed us to discover eukaryotic chemotaxis behavior and to gradually understand the mechanism of chemotaxis. Investigations in this simple organism often guide the direction of chemotaxis studies in areas such as forming concepts, discovering molecular components, revealing pathways and networks. The cooperation between experimental approaches and computational modeling has helped us to comprehend the signaling network as a system. To further reveal the relationships among the molecular mechanisms of individual signaling steps, a continuous interplay between model development and refinement and experimental testing and verification will be useful. This article focuses on a chemoattractant G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)/G-protein gradient sensing machinery, which is monitored by PIP(3) responses and investigated by the interplay between live cell imaging experiments and computational modeling. We believe that such an approach will lead to a much better understanding of GPCR-controlled chemotaxis of all eukaryotic cells.

  13. Selection of chemotaxis mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    A method has been developed for the efficient selection of chemotaxis mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum. Mutants defective in the chemotactic response to folate could be enriched up to 30-fold in one round of selection using a chamber in which a compartment that contained the chemoattractant was separated by a sandwich of four nitrocellulose filters from a compartment that contained buffer. Mutagenized cells were placed in the center of the filter layer and exposed to the attractant gradient built up between the compartments for a period of 3-4 h. While wild-type cells moved through the filters in a wave towards the compartment that contained attractant, mutant cells remained in the filter to which they were applied. After several repetitions of the selection procedure, mutants defective in chemotaxis made up 10% of the total cell population retained in that filter. Mutants exhibiting three types of alterations were collected: motility mutants with either reduced speed of movement, or altered rates of turning; a single mutant defective in production of the attractant- degrading enzyme, folate deaminase; and mutants with normal motility but reduced chemotactic responsiveness. One mutant showed drastically reduced sensitivity in folate-induced cGMP production. Morphogenetic alterations of mutants defective in folate chemotaxis are described. PMID:3793759

  14. Towards a molecular understanding of human diseases using Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Williams, Robin S B; Boeckeler, Katrina; Gräf, Ralph; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Li, Zhiru; Isberg, Ralph R; Wessels, Deborah; Soll, David R; Alexander, Hannah; Alexander, Stephen

    2006-09-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is increasingly being used as a simple model for the investigation of problems that are relevant to human health. This article focuses on several recent examples of Dictyostelium-based biomedical research, including the analysis of immune-cell disease and chemotaxis, centrosomal abnormalities and lissencephaly, bacterial intracellular pathogenesis, and mechanisms of neuroprotective and anti-cancer drug action. The combination of cellular, genetic and molecular biology techniques that are available in Dictyostelium often makes the analysis of these problems more amenable to study in this system than in mammalian cell culture. Findings that have been made in these areas using Dictyostelium have driven research in mammalian systems and have established Dictyostelium as a powerful model for human-disease analysis.

  15. Lack of 5-methylcytosine in Dictyostelium discoideum DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, S S; Ratner, D I

    1991-01-01

    We find no evidence for the presence of 5-methylcytosine in the DNA of Dictyostelium discoideum. Methylation was absent from CCGG sites in repetitive DNA and in DNA from the actin multigene family. Nor was 5-methylcytosine detected in total DNA when base composition was determined by means of h.p.l.c. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. PMID:1713034

  16. Collective behavior of Dictyostelium discoideum monitored by impedance analysis

    PubMed Central

    Schäfer, Edith; Aue, Dennis; Tarantola, Marco; Polo, Elena; Westendorf, Christian; Oikawa, Noriko; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Geil, Burkhard; Janshoff, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum cells respond to periodic signals of extracellular cAMP by collective changes of cell-cell and cell-substrate contacts. This was confirmed by dielectric analysis employing electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) and impedance measurements involving cell-filled micro channels in conjunction with optical microscopy providing a comprehensive picture of chemotaxis under conditions of starvation. PMID:23713138

  17. dictyBase, the model organism database for Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Chisholm, Rex L; Gaudet, Pascale; Just, Eric M; Pilcher, Karen E; Fey, Petra; Merchant, Sohel N; Kibbe, Warren A

    2006-01-01

    dictyBase (http://dictybase.org) is the model organism database (MOD) for the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. The unique biology and phylogenetic position of Dictyostelium offer a great opportunity to gain knowledge of processes not characterized in other organisms. The recent completion of the 34 MB genome sequence, together with the sizable scientific literature using Dictyostelium as a research organism, provided the necessary tools to create a well-annotated genome. dictyBase has leveraged software developed by the Saccharomyces Genome Database and the Generic Model Organism Database project. This has reduced the time required to develop a full-featured MOD and greatly facilitated our ability to focus on annotation and providing new functionality. We hope that manual curation of the Dictyostelium genome will facilitate the annotation of other genomes.

  18. Dictyostelium discoideum: Molecular approaches to cell biology

    SciTech Connect

    Spudich, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    The central point of this book is to present Dictyostelium as a valuable eukaryotic organism for those interested in molecular studies that require a combined biochemical, structural, and genetic approach. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of all methods involving Dictyostelium, but instead is a selective set of chapters that demonstrates the utility of the organism for molecular approaches to interesting cell biological problems.

  19. Coupling of transcription and translation in Dictyostelium discoideum nuclei.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G

    1999-03-30

    The nuclei of Dictyostelium discoideum cells have been found to contain polyribosomes active in protein synthesis. mRNA molecules enter nuclear polyribosomes while they are still being synthesized. "Non sense mediated mRNA decay" occurs in the nucleus, through the interaction of the mRNAs containing a nonsense codon with newly formed nuclear ribosomes, rather than with cytoplasmic ribosomes, as previously generally supposed.

  20. Flow-driven instabilities during pattern formation of Dictyostelium discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholami, A.; Steinbock, O.; Zykov, V.; Bodenschatz, E.

    2015-06-01

    The slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum is a well known model system for the study of biological pattern formation. In the natural environment, aggregating populations of starving Dictyostelium discoideum cells may experience fluid flows that can profoundly change the underlying wave generation process. Here we study the effect of advection on the pattern formation in a colony of homogeneously distributed Dictyostelium discoideum cells described by the standard Martiel-Goldbeter model. The external flow advects the signaling molecule cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) downstream, while the chemotactic cells attached to the solid substrate are not transported with the flow. The evolution of small perturbations in cAMP concentrations is studied analytically in the linear regime and by corresponding numerical simulations. We show that flow can significantly influence the dynamics of the system and lead to a flow-driven instability that initiate downstream traveling cAMP waves. We also show that boundary conditions have a significant effect on the observed patterns and can lead to a new kind of instability.

  1. Chemotaxis of Dictyostelium discoideum: Collective Oscillation of Cellular Contacts

    PubMed Central

    Schäfer, Edith; Tarantola, Marco; Polo, Elena; Westendorf, Christian; Oikawa, Noriko; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Geil, Burkhard; Janshoff, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Chemotactic responses of Dictyostelium discoideum cells to periodic self-generated signals of extracellular cAMP comprise a large number of intricate morphological changes on different length scales. Here, we scrutinized chemotaxis of single Dictyostelium discoideum cells under conditions of starvation using a variety of optical, electrical and acoustic methods. Amebas were seeded on gold electrodes displaying impedance oscillations that were simultaneously analyzed by optical video microscopy to relate synchronous changes in cell density, morphology, and distance from the surface to the transient impedance signal. We found that starved amebas periodically reduce their overall distance from the surface producing a larger impedance and higher total fluorescence intensity in total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Therefore, we propose that the dominant sources of the observed impedance oscillations observed on electric cell-substrate impedance sensing electrodes are periodic changes of the overall cell-substrate distance of a cell. These synchronous changes of the cell-electrode distance were also observed in the oscillating signal of acoustic resonators covered with amebas. We also found that periodic cell-cell aggregation into transient clusters correlates with changes in the cell-substrate distance and might also contribute to the impedance signal. It turned out that cell-cell contacts as well as cell-substrate contacts form synchronously during chemotaxis of Dictyostelium discoideum cells. PMID:23349816

  2. Isolation and characterization of casein kinase I from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Bueno, G; Calés, C; Behrens, M M; Fernández-Renart, M

    2000-01-01

    In the present study, the molecular cloning and characterization of a 49-kDa form of casein kinase (CK)I from Dictyostelium discoideum is reported. The predicted amino acid sequence shares 70% identity with the catalytic domain of the mammalian delta and epsilon isoforms, Drosophila CKIepsilon and Schizosaccharomyces pombe Hhp1, and 63% identity with Hrr25, a 57-kDa form of yeast CK involved in DNA repair. D. discoideum CKI (DdCKI) was expressed in vegetative asynchronous cells as well as in differentiated cells, as detected by Northern-blot analysis. The level of DdCKI expression did not change during the cell cycle. Antibodies raised against a truncated version of the protein recognized a 49-kDa protein from D. discoideum extracts. Protein expression paralleled the pattern found for the RNA. The expression of DdCKI in Escherichia coli resulted in an active enzyme that autophosphorylated and phosphorylated casein. Immunofluorescence assays showed that DdCKI was localized in the cytoplasm and nuclei of Dictyostelium cells. The lack of disruptants of the CKI gene suggests that this protein is essential for the vegetative growth of D. discoideum. Overexpression of DdCKI resulted in cells with increased resistance to hydroxyurea, suggesting a potential role for this kinase in DNA repair. PMID:10880352

  3. Dissection of Francisella-Host Cell Interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Lampe, Elisabeth O.; Brenz, Yannick; Herrmann, Lydia; Repnik, Urska; Griffiths, Gareth; Zingmark, Carl; Sjöstedt, Anders; Winther-Larsen, Hanne C.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella bacteria cause severe disease in both vertebrates and invertebrates and include one of the most infectious human pathogens. Mammalian cell lines have mainly been used to study the mechanisms by which Francisella manipulates its host to replicate within a large variety of hosts and cell types, including macrophages. Here, we describe the establishment of a genetically and biochemically tractable infection model: the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum combined with the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis subsp. noatunensis. Phagocytosed F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the endosomal pathway and escapes further phagosomal maturation by translocating into the host cell cytosol. F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis lacking IglC, a known virulence determinant required for Francisella intracellular replication, follows the normal phagosomal maturation and does not grow in Dictyostelium. The attenuation of the F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC mutant was confirmed in a zebrafish embryo model, where growth of F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC was restricted. In Dictyostelium, F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the autophagic machinery. The intracellular bacteria colocalize with autophagic markers, and when autophagy is impaired (Dictyostelium Δatg1), F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis accumulates within Dictyostelium cells. Altogether, the Dictyostelium-F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis infection model recapitulates the course of infection described in other host systems. The genetic and biochemical tractability of the system allows new approaches to elucidate the dynamic interactions between pathogenic Francisella and its host organism. PMID:26712555

  4. Dissection of Francisella-Host Cell Interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Lampe, Elisabeth O; Brenz, Yannick; Herrmann, Lydia; Repnik, Urska; Griffiths, Gareth; Zingmark, Carl; Sjöstedt, Anders; Winther-Larsen, Hanne C; Hagedorn, Monica

    2015-12-28

    Francisella bacteria cause severe disease in both vertebrates and invertebrates and include one of the most infectious human pathogens. Mammalian cell lines have mainly been used to study the mechanisms by which Francisella manipulates its host to replicate within a large variety of hosts and cell types, including macrophages. Here, we describe the establishment of a genetically and biochemically tractable infection model: the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum combined with the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis subsp. noatunensis. Phagocytosed F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the endosomal pathway and escapes further phagosomal maturation by translocating into the host cell cytosol. F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis lacking IglC, a known virulence determinant required for Francisella intracellular replication, follows the normal phagosomal maturation and does not grow in Dictyostelium. The attenuation of the F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC mutant was confirmed in a zebrafish embryo model, where growth of F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC was restricted. In Dictyostelium, F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the autophagic machinery. The intracellular bacteria colocalize with autophagic markers, and when autophagy is impaired (Dictyostelium Δatg1), F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis accumulates within Dictyostelium cells. Altogether, the Dictyostelium-F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis infection model recapitulates the course of infection described in other host systems. The genetic and biochemical tractability of the system allows new approaches to elucidate the dynamic interactions between pathogenic Francisella and its host organism.

  5. Identification and characterization of a Dictyostelium discoideum ribosomal protein gene.

    PubMed Central

    Szymkowski, D E; Deering, R A

    1990-01-01

    We have identified a developmentally repressed large-subunit ribosomal protein gene of Dictyostelium discoideum based on sequence similarity to other ribosomal proteins. Protein rpl7 is homologous to large subunit ribosomal proteins from the rat and possibly to Mycoplasma capricolum and Escherichia coli, but is not similar to three sequenced ribosomal proteins in Dictyostelium. The rpl7 gene is present at one copy per genome, as are six other cloned Dictyostelium ribosomal proteins. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms exist for ribosomal protein genes rpl7, rp1024, and rp110 in strain HU182; most Dictyostelium ribosomal protein genes examined are linked no closer than 30-100 kb to each other in the genome. Dictyostelium ribosomal proteins are known to be developmentally regulated, and levels of rpl7 transcript gradually decrease during the 24-hour development cycle. This drop correlates with that of rp1024, indicating these and other ribosomal protein genes may be coordinately regulated. To determine the cellular location of the protein, we raised antibodies to an rpl7-derived branched synthetic peptide. These antibodies cross-reacted with one protein of the expected size in a ribosomal protein fraction of Dictyostelium, indicating that the product of gene rpl7 is localized in the ribosome. Images PMID:1975664

  6. Chemotaxis to Excitable Waves in Dictyostelium Discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhowmik, Arpan; Rappel, Wouter-Jan; Levine, Herbert

    In recent years, there have been significant advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying chemically directed motility by eukaryotic cells such as Dictyostelium. In particular, the LEGI model has proven capable of providing a framework for quantitatively explaining many experiments that present Dictyostelium cells with tailored chemical stimuli and monitor their subsequent polarization. Here, we couple the LEGI approach to an excitable medium model of the cAMP wave-field that is self-generated by the cells and investigate the extent to which this class of models enables accurate chemotaxis to the cAMP waveforms expected in vivo. Our results indicate that the ultra-sensitive version of the model does an excellent job in providing natural wave rectification, thereby providing a compelling solution to the ``back-of-the-wave paradox'' during cellular aggregation. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant P01 GM078586.

  7. [Synergism between aggregation mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum].

    PubMed

    Barra, J

    1977-02-21

    The cells of an aggregateless mutant of Dictyostelium discoïdeum, agip 235, can cooperate with other aggregateless or wild strains to form differentiated aggregates. A soluble mediator liberated by the coaggregating cells seems responsible for the development of agip 235. In most cases, the development of mutant agip 235 stops at the aggregation stage; however, its coaggregation with the mutant 518 results in cosporulation, with the production of viable spores of each genotype, effecting a phenotypic suppression of both mutations.

  8. Excitable signal relay in Dictyostelium discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mestler, Troy; Schwab, David; Mehta, Pankaj; Gregor, Thomas

    2011-03-01

    The social amoeba D. discoideum transitions when starved from a collection of individual cells into a multicellular spore-complex. During this process, amoebae display several interesting phenomena including intercellular signaling, pattern formation, and cell differentiation. At the heart of these phenomena is the exchange of the signaling molecule cyclic-AMP, which has previously been extensively studied using a variety of indirect methods. Here we employ a sensor that uses a compound fluorescent protein whose emission spectrum changes in the presence of bound cyclic AMP to directly monitor, in real time and in vivo, intracellular cAMP concentrations. We use cells expressing this sensor in microchemostats to study intracellular cAMP concentrations at the single-cell level in response to precise, dynamically-controlled external cAMP stimulation. Specifically, we show that these cells display excitability much like that found in neurons and agree experimentally quite well with a modified FitzHugh-Nagumo dynamical systems model. This single-cell model sets groundwork for a comprehensive multicellular model that promises to explain emergent behavior in D. discoideum.

  9. Identification of major proteins associated with Dictyostelium discoideum endocytic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Adessi, C; Chapel, A; Vinçon, M; Rabilloud, T; Klein, G; Satre, M; Garin, J

    1995-10-01

    Magnetic isolation of endocytic vesicles from Dictyostelium discoideum was accomplished after feeding the amoebae with iron oxide particles. Proteins associated with the endocytic vesicles were resolved by SDS-PAGE and digested 'in-gel' with endoproteinase Lys-C or Asp-N to generate peptides for amino acid sequencing. This strategy allowed the identification of the major protein constituents of the vesicles: namely, the A, B, D, E and 110 kDa subunits of a vacuolar type H(+)-ATPase, actin, a Rab 7-like GTPase, a p34 protein corresponding to a new cysteine proteinase and the 25 kDa product of a recently sequenced D. discoideum open reading frame.

  10. Mitochondrial large-conductance potassium channel from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Laskowski, Michal; Kicinska, Anna; Szewczyk, Adam; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2015-03-01

    In the present study, we describe the existence of a large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BKCa) channel in the mitochondria of Dictyostelium discoideum. A single-channel current was recorded in a reconstituted system, using planar lipid bilayers. The large-conductance potassium channel activity of 258±12 pS was recorded in a 50/150 mM KCl gradient solution. The probability of channel opening (the channel activity) was increased by calcium ions and NS1619 (potassium channel opener) and reduced by iberiotoxin (BKCa channel inhibitor). The substances known to modulate BKCa channel activity influenced the bioenergetics of D. discoideum mitochondria. In isolated mitochondria, NS1619 and NS11021 stimulated non-phosphorylating respiration and depolarized membrane potential, indicating the channel activation. These effects were blocked by iberiotoxin and paxilline. Moreover, the activation of the channel resulted in attenuation of superoxide formation, but its inhibition had the opposite effect. Immunological analysis with antibodies raised against mammalian BKCa channel subunits detected a pore-forming α subunit and auxiliary β subunits of the channel in D. discoideum mitochondria. In conclusion, we show for the first time that mitochondria of D. discoideum, a unicellular ameboid protozoon that facultatively forms multicellular structures, contain a large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel with electrophysiological, biochemical and molecular properties similar to those of the channels previously described in mammalian and plant mitochondria.

  11. Developmentally Regulated, Carbohydrate-Binding Protein in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Rosen, Steven D.; Kafka, John A.; Simpson, David L.; Barondes, Samuel H.

    1973-01-01

    A carbohydrate-binding protein assayed by its ability to agglutinate formalinized sheep erythrocytes is synthesized between 3 and 9 hr after Dictyostelium discoideum cells are deprived of food, as the cells become cohesive. Agglutination of erythrocytes by this protein was inhibited by N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, D-galactose, and L-fucose, but other monosaccharides had little or no effect. The protein bound completely to Sepharose 4B, and was isolated in highly purified form by elution with D-galactose. It appears to be present on the surface of cohesive but not vegetative slime-mold cells. The possibility that this protein may mediate intercellular adhesion in Dictyostelium is considered. Images PMID:4517669

  12. Theoretical model for morphogenesis and cell sorting in Dictyostelium discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, T.; Inouye, K.

    1999-02-01

    The morphogenetic movement and cell sorting in cell aggregates from the mound stage to the migrating slug stage of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum were studied using a mathematical model. The model postulates that the motive force generated by the cells is in equilibrium with the internal pressure and mechanical resistance. The moving boundary problem derived from the force balance equation and the continuity equation has stationary solutions in which the aggregate takes the shape of a spheroid (or an ellipse in two-dimensional space) with the pacemaker at one of its foci, moving at a constant speed. Numerical calculations in two-dimensional space showed that an irregularly shaped aggregate changes its shape to become an ellipse as it moves. Cell aggregates consisting of two cell types differing in motive force exhibit cell sorting and become elongated, suggesting the importance of prestalk/prespore differentiation in the morphogenesis of Dictyostelium.

  13. Spore germination promoter of Dictyostelium discoideum excreted by Aerobacter aerogenes.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Y; Tanaka, Y; Yamada, T

    1976-07-01

    The nutrient medium in which Aerobacter aerogenes was grown, contains a spore germination promoter (SGP) for the cellular slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum. SGP can cuase synchronous spore germination in a short time, and triggers the germination process in just a few minutes. Germination-promoting capacity of SGP decreases as it comes in contact with increasing number of spores. When spores activated by SGP are stored at 4 degrees C, they gradually return to the dormant state. SGP is comparatively heat-stable, but is unstable at pH above 10 or under 3.

  14. Analysis of Dictyostelium discoideum inositol pyrophosphate metabolism by gel electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Pisani, Francesca; Livermore, Thomas; Rose, Giuseppina; Chubb, Jonathan Robert; Gaspari, Marco; Saiardi, Adolfo

    2014-01-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum was instrumental in the discovery and early characterization of inositol pyrophosphates, a class of molecules possessing highly-energetic pyrophosphate bonds. Inositol pyrophosphates regulate diverse biological processes and are attracting attention due to their ability to control energy metabolism and insulin signalling. However, inositol pyrophosphate research has been hampered by the lack of simple experimental procedures to study them. The recent development of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and simple staining to resolve and detect inositol pyrophosphate species has opened new investigative possibilities. This technology is now commonly applied to study in vitro enzymatic reactions. Here we employ PAGE technology to characterize the D. discoideum inositol pyrophosphate metabolism. Surprisingly, only three major bands are detectable after resolving acidic extract on PAGE. We have demonstrated that these three bands correspond to inositol hexakisphosphate (IP₆ or Phytic acid) and its derivative inositol pyrophosphates, IP₇ and IP₈. Biochemical analyses and genetic evidence were used to establish the genuine inositol phosphate nature of these bands. We also identified IP₉ in D. discoideum cells, a molecule so far detected only from in vitro biochemical reactions. Furthermore, we discovered that this amoeba possesses three different inositol pentakisphosphates (IP₅) isomers, which are largely metabolised to inositol pyrophosphates. Comparison of PAGE with traditional Sax-HPLC revealed an underestimation of the cellular abundance of inositol pyrophosphates by traditional methods. In fact our study revealed much higher levels of inositol pyrophosphates in D. discoideum in the vegetative state than previously detected. A three-fold increase in IP₈ was observed during development of D. discoideum a value lower that previously reported. Analysis of inositol pyrophosphate metabolism using ip6k null amoeba

  15. Analysis of Dictyostelium discoideum Inositol Pyrophosphate Metabolism by Gel Electrophoresis

    PubMed Central

    Pisani, Francesca; Livermore, Thomas; Rose, Giuseppina; Chubb, Jonathan Robert; Gaspari, Marco; Saiardi, Adolfo

    2014-01-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum was instrumental in the discovery and early characterization of inositol pyrophosphates, a class of molecules possessing highly-energetic pyrophosphate bonds. Inositol pyrophosphates regulate diverse biological processes and are attracting attention due to their ability to control energy metabolism and insulin signalling. However, inositol pyrophosphate research has been hampered by the lack of simple experimental procedures to study them. The recent development of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and simple staining to resolve and detect inositol pyrophosphate species has opened new investigative possibilities. This technology is now commonly applied to study in vitro enzymatic reactions. Here we employ PAGE technology to characterize the D. discoideum inositol pyrophosphate metabolism. Surprisingly, only three major bands are detectable after resolving acidic extract on PAGE. We have demonstrated that these three bands correspond to inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6 or Phytic acid) and its derivative inositol pyrophosphates, IP7 and IP8. Biochemical analyses and genetic evidence were used to establish the genuine inositol phosphate nature of these bands. We also identified IP9 in D. discoideum cells, a molecule so far detected only from in vitro biochemical reactions. Furthermore, we discovered that this amoeba possesses three different inositol pentakisphosphates (IP5) isomers, which are largely metabolised to inositol pyrophosphates. Comparison of PAGE with traditional Sax-HPLC revealed an underestimation of the cellular abundance of inositol pyrophosphates by traditional methods. In fact our study revealed much higher levels of inositol pyrophosphates in D. discoideum in the vegetative state than previously detected. A three-fold increase in IP8 was observed during development of D. discoideum a value lower that previously reported. Analysis of inositol pyrophosphate metabolism using ip6k null amoeba revealed

  16. Comparative genomics of the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and Dictyostelium purpureum

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The social amoebae (Dictyostelia) are a diverse group of Amoebozoa that achieve multicellularity by aggregation and undergo morphogenesis into fruiting bodies with terminally differentiated spores and stalk cells. There are four groups of dictyostelids, with the most derived being a group that contains the model species Dictyostelium discoideum. Results We have produced a draft genome sequence of another group dictyostelid, Dictyostelium purpureum, and compare it to the D. discoideum genome. The assembly (8.41 × coverage) comprises 799 scaffolds totaling 33.0 Mb, comparable to the D. discoideum genome size. Sequence comparisons suggest that these two dictyostelids shared a common ancestor approximately 400 million years ago. In spite of this divergence, most orthologs reside in small clusters of conserved synteny. Comparative analyses revealed a core set of orthologous genes that illuminate dictyostelid physiology, as well as differences in gene family content. Interesting patterns of gene conservation and divergence are also evident, suggesting function differences; some protein families, such as the histidine kinases, have undergone little functional change, whereas others, such as the polyketide synthases, have undergone extensive diversification. The abundant amino acid homopolymers encoded in both genomes are generally not found in homologous positions within proteins, so they are unlikely to derive from ancestral DNA triplet repeats. Genes involved in the social stage evolved more rapidly than others, consistent with either relaxed selection or accelerated evolution due to social conflict. Conclusions The findings from this new genome sequence and comparative analysis shed light on the biology and evolution of the Dictyostelia. PMID:21356102

  17. Crystallization of cyclase-associated protein from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Andreas; Hess, Sonja; Noegel, Angelika A; Schleicher, Michael; Wlodawer, Alexander

    2002-10-01

    Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) is a conserved two-domain protein that helps to activate the catalytic activity of adenylyl cyclase in the cyclase-bound state through interaction with Ras, which binds to the cyclase in a different region. With its other domain, CAP can bind monomeric actin and therefore also carries a cytoskeletal function. The protein is thus involved in Ras/cAMP-dependent signal transduction and most likely serves as an adapter protein translocating the adenylyl cyclase complex to the actin cytoskeleton. Crystals belonging to the orthorhombic space group C222, with unit-cell parameters a = 71.2, b = 75.1, c = 162.9 A, have been obtained from Dictyostelium discoideum CAP carrying a C-terminal His tag. A complete native data set extending to 2.2 A resolution was collected from a single crystal using an in-house X-ray system. The asymmetric unit contains one molecule of CAP.

  18. Sketch the migration of Dictyostelium discoideum using phase field model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yunsong; Camley, Brian; Rappel, Wouter-Jan; Levine, Herbert

    Cell migration plays an important role in a lot of biological processes, like chemotaxis, wound healing, and cancer metastasis. The fact it is highly integrated has brought great challenges, physical and mathematical, to the modeling efforts. Recently, a phase field model, which couples cellular reaction dynamics, intra-cellular hydrodynamics, cell-substrate adhesions and deformable cell boundaries, has successfully captured some characteristics of moving cells, including morphological change, cytosolic actin flow pattern, periodic migration and so on. Here we apply the phase field model to sketch the migration of Dictyostelium discoideum, which shows a completely different moving pattern from the cells (like fish keratocyte) in our previous attempts. And we will also compare our results with some experimental observations, not only on the cell morphology, but also on the traction force patterns on the substrate.

  19. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Dictyostelium discoideum Aggregation Streams

    SciTech Connect

    Debord, J. Daniel; Smith, Donald F.; Anderton, Christopher R.; Heeren, Ronald M.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana; Gomer, Richard H.; Fernandez-Lima, Francisco A.

    2014-06-09

    High resolution imaging mass spectrometry could become a valuable tool for cell and developmental biology, but both, high spatial and mass spectral resolution are needed to enable this. In this report, we employed Bi3 bombardment time-of-flight (Bi3 ToF-SIMS) and C60 bombardment Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance secondary ion mass spectrometry (C60 FTICR-SIMS) to image Dictyostelium discoideum aggregation streams. Nearly 300 lipid species were identified from the aggregation streams. High resolution mass spectrometry imaging (FTICR-SIMS) enabled the generation of multiple molecular ion maps at the nominal mass level and provided good coverage for fatty acyls, prenol lipids, and sterol lipids. The comparison of Bi3 ToF-SIMS and C60 FTICR-SIMS suggested that while the first provides fast, high spatial resolution molecular ion images, the chemical complexity of biological samples warrants the use of high resolution analyzers for accurate ion identification.

  20. Measuring cheating, fitness, and segregation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Buttery, Neil J; Smith, Jeff; Queller, David C; Strassmann, Joan E

    2013-01-01

    Dictyostelium has become a model organism for the study of social evolution because of the stage in its life cycle where thousands of independent amoebae together form a fruiting body. Some individuals die to form a stalk that holds aloft the remaining cells for dispersal to new environments as spores. Different genotypes can aggregate together, creating opportunities for exploitation by cheaters that contribute a smaller proportion of cells to the stalk. Clustering of genotypes into separate fruiting bodies reduces the opportunities for cheating. Some genotypes achieve this by segregating after aggregation. Here we describe techniques for assaying cheating and segregation in D. discoideum. We cover how to grow and maintain cells, fluorescently label genotypes, design experiments for accuracy and precision, calculate fitness and segregation, and interpret the results.

  1. Assessment of development and chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum mutants.

    PubMed

    Artemenko, Yulia; Swaney, Kristen F; Devreotes, Peter N

    2011-01-01

    Studies using the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum have greatly contributed to the current understanding of the signaling network that underlies chemotaxis. Since directed migration is essential for normal D. discoideum multicellular development, mutants with chemotactic impairments are likely to have abnormal developmental morphologies. We have used multicellular development as a readout in a screen of mutants to identify new potential regulators of chemotaxis. In this chapter, we describe how mutants generated by restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) are analyzed, from assessment of development to detailed characterization of 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-induced responses. Two complementary approaches, plating cells either clonally on a bacterial lawn or as a population on non-nutrient agar, are used to evaluate multicellular development. Once mutants with aberrant developmental phenotypes are identified, their chemotaxis toward cAMP is assessed by both small population and micropipette assays. Furthermore, mutants are tested for defects in both general and specific signaling pathways by examining the recruitment of actin-binding LimE(Δcoil) or PIP3-binding PH domains to the plasma membrane in response to cAMP stimulation.

  2. Multi-scale interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, James A.; Kelty-Stephen, Damian G.

    2012-12-01

    Cellular aggregation is essential for a wide range of phenomena in developmental biology, and a crucial event in the life-cycle of Dictyostelium discoideum. The current manuscript presents an analysis of multi-scale interactions involved in D. discoideum aggregation and non-aggregation events. The multi-scale fractal dimensions of a sequence of microscope images were used to estimate changing structure at different spatial scales. Three regions showing aggregation and three showing non-aggregation were considered. The results showed that both aggregation and non-aggregation regions were strongly multi-fractal. Analyses of the over-time relationships among nine scales of the generalized dimension, D(q), were conducted using vector autoregression and vector error-correction models. Both types of regions showed evidence that across-scale interactions serve to maintain the equilibrium of the system. Aggregation and non-aggregation regions also showed different patterns of effects of individual scales on other scales. Specifically, aggregation regions showed greater effects of both the smallest and largest scales on the smaller scale structures. The results suggest that multi-scale interactions are responsible for maintaining and altering the cellular structures during aggregation.

  3. The Long Noncoding RNA Transcriptome of Dictyostelium discoideum Development

    PubMed Central

    Rosengarten, Rafael D.; Santhanam, Balaji; Kokosar, Janez; Shaulsky, Gad

    2016-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum live in the soil as single cells, engulfing bacteria and growing vegetatively. Upon starvation, tens of thousands of amoebae enter a developmental program that includes aggregation, multicellular differentiation, and sporulation. Major shifts across the protein-coding transcriptome accompany these developmental changes. However, no study has presented a global survey of long noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) in D. discoideum. To characterize the antisense and long intergenic noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcriptome, we analyzed previously published developmental time course samples using an RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) library preparation method that selectively depletes ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). We detected the accumulation of transcripts for 9833 protein-coding messenger RNAs (mRNAs), 621 lncRNAs, and 162 putative antisense RNAs (asRNAs). The noncoding RNAs were interspersed throughout the genome, and were distinct in expression level, length, and nucleotide composition. The noncoding transcriptome displayed a temporal profile similar to the coding transcriptome, with stages of gradual change interspersed with larger leaps. The transcription profiles of some noncoding RNAs were strongly correlated with known differentially expressed coding RNAs, hinting at a functional role for these molecules during development. Examining the mitochondrial transcriptome, we modeled two novel antisense transcripts. We applied yet another ribosomal depletion method to a subset of the samples to better retain transfer RNA (tRNA) transcripts. We observed polymorphisms in tRNA anticodons that suggested a post-transcriptional means by which D. discoideum compensates for codons missing in the genomic complement of tRNAs. We concluded that the prevalence and characteristics of long ncRNAs indicate that these molecules are relevant to the progression of molecular and cellular phenotypes during development. PMID:27932387

  4. The Long Noncoding RNA Transcriptome of Dictyostelium discoideum Development.

    PubMed

    Rosengarten, Rafael D; Santhanam, Balaji; Kokosar, Janez; Shaulsky, Gad

    2017-02-09

    Dictyostelium discoideum live in the soil as single cells, engulfing bacteria and growing vegetatively. Upon starvation, tens of thousands of amoebae enter a developmental program that includes aggregation, multicellular differentiation, and sporulation. Major shifts across the protein-coding transcriptome accompany these developmental changes. However, no study has presented a global survey of long noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) in D. discoideum To characterize the antisense and long intergenic noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcriptome, we analyzed previously published developmental time course samples using an RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) library preparation method that selectively depletes ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). We detected the accumulation of transcripts for 9833 protein-coding messenger RNAs (mRNAs), 621 lncRNAs, and 162 putative antisense RNAs (asRNAs). The noncoding RNAs were interspersed throughout the genome, and were distinct in expression level, length, and nucleotide composition. The noncoding transcriptome displayed a temporal profile similar to the coding transcriptome, with stages of gradual change interspersed with larger leaps. The transcription profiles of some noncoding RNAs were strongly correlated with known differentially expressed coding RNAs, hinting at a functional role for these molecules during development. Examining the mitochondrial transcriptome, we modeled two novel antisense transcripts. We applied yet another ribosomal depletion method to a subset of the samples to better retain transfer RNA (tRNA) transcripts. We observed polymorphisms in tRNA anticodons that suggested a post-transcriptional means by which D. discoideum compensates for codons missing in the genomic complement of tRNAs. We concluded that the prevalence and characteristics of long ncRNAs indicate that these molecules are relevant to the progression of molecular and cellular phenotypes during development.

  5. The genome of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Eichinger, L.; Pachebat, J.A.; Glöckner, G.; Rajandream, M.-A.; Sucgang, R.; Berriman, M.; Song, J.; Olsen, R.; Szafranski, K.; Xu, Q.; Tunggal, B.; Kummerfeld, S.; Madera, M.; Konfortov, B. A.; Rivero, F.; Bankier, A. T.; Lehmann, R.; Hamlin, N.; Davies, R.; Gaudet, P.; Fey, P.; Pilcher, K.; Chen, G.; Saunders, D.; Sodergren, E.; Davis, P.; Kerhornou, A.; Nie, X.; Hall, N.; Anjard, C.; Hemphill, L.; Bason, N.; Farbrother, P.; Desany, B.; Just, E.; Morio, T.; Rost, R.; Churcher, C.; Cooper, J.; Haydock, S.; van Driessche, N.; Cronin, A.; Goodhead, I.; Muzny, D.; Mourier, T.; Pain, A.; Lu, M.; Harper, D.; Lindsay, R.; Hauser, H.; James, K.; Quiles, M.; Babu, M. Madan; Saito, T.; Buchrieser, C.; Wardroper, A.; Felder, M.; Thangavelu, M.; Johnson, D.; Knights, A.; Loulseged, H.; Mungall, K.; Oliver, K.; Price, C.; Quail, M.A.; Urushihara, H.; Hernandez, J.; Rabbinowitsch, E.; Steffen, D.; Sanders, M.; Ma, J.; Kohara, Y.; Sharp, S.; Simmonds, M.; Spiegler, S.; Tivey, A.; Sugano, S.; White, B.; Walker, D.; Woodward, J.; Winckler, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Shaulsky, G.; Schleicher, M.; Weinstock, G.; Rosenthal, A.; Cox, E.C.; Chisholm, R. L.; Gibbs, R.; Loomis, W. F.; Platzer, M.; Kay, R. R.; Williams, J.; Dear, P. H.; Noegel, A. A.; Barrell, B.; Kuspa, A.

    2005-01-01

    The social amoebae are exceptional in their ability to alternate between unicellular and multicellular forms. Here we describe the genome of the best-studied member of this group, Dictyostelium discoideum. The gene-dense chromosomes encode ~12,500 predicted proteins, a high proportion of which have long repetitive amino acid tracts. There are many genes for polyketide synthases and ABC transporters, suggesting an extensive secondary metabolism for producing and exporting small molecules. The genome is rich in complex repeats, one class of which is clustered and may serve as centromeres. Partial copies of the extrachromosomal rDNA element are found at the ends of each chromosome, suggesting a novel telomere structure and the use of a common mechanism to maintain both the rDNA and chromosomal termini. A proteome-based phylogeny shows that the amoebozoa diverged from the animal/fungal lineage after the plant/animal split, but Dictyostelium appears to have retained more of the diversity of the ancestral genome than either of these two groups. PMID:15875012

  6. Cheating by exploitation of developmental prestalk patterning in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Khare, Anupama; Shaulsky, Gad

    2010-02-26

    The cooperative developmental system of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is susceptible to exploitation by cheaters-strains that make more than their fair share of spores in chimerae. Laboratory screens in Dictyostelium have shown that the genetic potential for facultative cheating is high, and field surveys have shown that cheaters are abundant in nature, but the cheating mechanisms are largely unknown. Here we describe cheater C (chtC), a strong facultative cheater mutant that cheats by affecting prestalk differentiation. The chtC gene is developmentally regulated and its mRNA becomes stalk-enriched at the end of development. chtC mutants are defective in maintaining the prestalk cell fate as some of their prestalk cells transdifferentiate into prespore cells, but that defect does not affect gross developmental morphology or sporulation efficiency. In chimerae between wild-type and chtC mutant cells, the wild-type cells preferentially give rise to prestalk cells, and the chtC mutants increase their representation in the spore mass. Mixing chtC mutants with other cell-type proportioning mutants revealed that the cheating is directly related to the prestalk-differentiation propensity of the victim. These findings illustrate that a cheater can victimize cooperative strains by exploiting an established developmental pathway.

  7. Cheating by Exploitation of Developmental Prestalk Patterning in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Khare, Anupama; Shaulsky, Gad

    2010-01-01

    The cooperative developmental system of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is susceptible to exploitation by cheaters—strains that make more than their fair share of spores in chimerae. Laboratory screens in Dictyostelium have shown that the genetic potential for facultative cheating is high, and field surveys have shown that cheaters are abundant in nature, but the cheating mechanisms are largely unknown. Here we describe cheater C (chtC), a strong facultative cheater mutant that cheats by affecting prestalk differentiation. The chtC gene is developmentally regulated and its mRNA becomes stalk-enriched at the end of development. chtC mutants are defective in maintaining the prestalk cell fate as some of their prestalk cells transdifferentiate into prespore cells, but that defect does not affect gross developmental morphology or sporulation efficiency. In chimerae between wild-type and chtC mutant cells, the wild-type cells preferentially give rise to prestalk cells, and the chtC mutants increase their representation in the spore mass. Mixing chtC mutants with other cell-type proportioning mutants revealed that the cheating is directly related to the prestalk-differentiation propensity of the victim. These findings illustrate that a cheater can victimize cooperative strains by exploiting an established developmental pathway. PMID:20195510

  8. Functional properties of five Dictyostelium discoideum P2X receptors.

    PubMed

    Baines, Abigail; Parkinson, Katie; Sim, Joan A; Bragg, Laricia; Thompson, Christopher R L; North, R Alan

    2013-07-19

    The Dictyostelium discoideum genome encodes five proteins that share weak sequence similarity with vertebrate P2X receptors. Unlike vertebrate P2X receptors, these proteins are not expressed on the surface of cells, but populate the tubules and bladders of the contractile vacuole. In this study, we expressed humanized cDNAs of P2XA, P2XB, P2XC, P2XD, and P2XE in human embryonic kidney cells and altered the ionic and proton environment in an attempt to reflect the situation in amoeba. Recording of whole-cell membrane currents showed that four receptors operated as ATP-gated channels (P2XA, P2XB, P2XD, and P2XE). At P2XA receptors, ATP was the only effective agonist of 17 structurally related putative ligands that were tested. Extracellular sodium, compared with potassium, strongly inhibited ATP responses in P2XB, P2XD, and P2XE receptors. Increasing the proton concentration (pH 6.2) accelerated desensitization at P2XA receptors and decreased currents at P2XD receptors, but increased the currents at P2XB and P2XE receptors. Dictyostelium lacking P2XA receptors showed impaired regulatory volume decrease in hypotonic solution. This phenotype was readily rescued by overexpression of P2XA and P2XD receptors, partially rescued by P2XB and P2XE receptors, and not rescued by P2XC receptors. The failure of the nonfunctional receptor P2XC to restore the regulatory volume decrease highlights the importance of ATP activation of P2X receptors for a normal response to hypo-osmotic shock, and the weak rescue by P2XB and P2XE receptors indicates that there is limited functional redundancy among Dictyostelium P2X receptors.

  9. Cell substratum adhesion during early development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Tarantola, Marco; Bae, Albert; Fuller, Danny; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Rappel, Wouter-Jan; Loomis, William F

    2014-01-01

    Vegetative and developed amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum gain traction and move rapidly on a wide range of substrata without forming focal adhesions. We used two independent assays to quantify cell-substrate adhesion in mutants and in wild-type cells as a function of development. Using a microfluidic device that generates a range of hydrodynamic shear stress, we found that substratum adhesion decreases at least 10 fold during the first 6 hr of development of wild type cells. This result was confirmed using a single-cell assay in which cells were attached to the cantilever of an atomic force probe and allowed to adhere to untreated glass surfaces before being retracted. Both of these assays showed that the decrease in substratum adhesion was dependent on the cAMP receptor CAR1 which triggers development. Vegetative cells missing talin as the result of a mutation in talA exhibited slightly reduced adhesive properties compared to vegetative wild-type cells. In sharp contrast to wild-type cells, however, these talA mutant cells did not show further reduction of adhesion during development such that after 5 hr of development they were significantly more adhesive than developed wild type cells. In addition, both assays showed that substrate adhesion was reduced in 0 hr cells when the actin cytoskeleton was disrupted by latrunculin. Consistent with previous observations, substrate adhesion was also reduced in 0 hr cells lacking the membrane proteins SadA or SibA as the result of mutations in sadA or sibA. However, there was no difference in the adhesion properties between wild type AX3 cells and these mutant cells after 6 hr of development, suggesting that neither SibA nor SadA play an essential role in substratum adhesion during aggregation. Our results provide a quantitative framework for further studies of cell substratum adhesion in Dictyostelium.

  10. Scanning X-Ray Nanodiffraction on Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Priebe, Marius; Bernhardt, Marten; Blum, Christoph; Tarantola, Marco; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Salditt, Tim

    2014-01-01

    We have performed scanning x-ray nanobeam diffraction experiments on single cells of the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Cells have been investigated in 1), freeze-dried, 2), frozen-hydrated (vitrified), and 3), initially alive states. The spatially resolved small-angle x-ray scattering signal shows characteristic streaklike patterns in reciprocal space, which we attribute to fiber bundles of the actomyosin network. From the intensity distributions, an anisotropy parameter can be derived that indicates pronounced local variations within the cell. In addition to nanobeam small-angle x-ray scattering, we have evaluated the x-ray differential phase contrast in view of the projected electron density. Different experimental aspects of the x-ray experiment, sample preparation, and data analysis are discussed. Finally, the x-ray results are correlated with optical microscopy (differential phase contrast and confocal microscopy of mutant strains with fluorescently labeled actin and myosin II), which have been carried out in live and fixed states, including optical microscopy under cryogenic conditions. PMID:25468345

  11. Crystallization and preliminary characterization of dihydropteridine reductase from Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Cong; Seo, Kyung Hye; Kim, Hye Lim; Zhuang, Ningning; Park, Young Shik; Lee, Kon Ho

    2008-01-01

    Dihydropteridine reductase from Dictyostelium discoideum (dicDHPR) can produce d-threo-BH4 [6R-(1′R,2′R)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin], a stereoisomer of l-erythro-BH4, in the last step of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) recycling. In this reaction, DHPR uses NADH as a cofactor to reduce quinonoid dihydro­biopterin back to BH4. To date, the enzyme has been purified to homogeneity from many sources. In this report, the dicDHPR–NAD complex has been crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with PEG 3350 as a precipitant. Rectangular-shaped crystals were obtained. Crystals grew to maximum dimensions of 0.4 × 0.6 × 0.1 mm. The crystal belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 49.81, b = 129.90, c = 78.76 Å, β = 100.00°, and contained four molecules in the asymmetric unit, forming two closely interacting dicDHPR–NAD dimers. Diffraction data were collected to 2.16 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation. The crystal structure has been determined using the molecular-replacement method. PMID:18997329

  12. A Continuum Model of Actin Waves in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Khamviwath, Varunyu; Hu, Jifeng; Othmer, Hans G.

    2013-01-01

    Actin waves are complex dynamical patterns of the dendritic network of filamentous actin in eukaryotes. We developed a model of actin waves in PTEN-deficient Dictyostelium discoideum by deriving an approximation of the dynamics of discrete actin filaments and combining it with a signaling pathway that controls filament branching. This signaling pathway, together with the actin network, contains a positive feedback loop that drives the actin waves. Our model predicts the structure, composition, and dynamics of waves that are consistent with existing experimental evidence, as well as the biochemical dependence on various protein partners. Simulation suggests that actin waves are initiated when local actin network activity, caused by an independent process, exceeds a certain threshold. Moreover, diffusion of proteins that form a positive feedback loop with the actin network alone is sufficient for propagation of actin waves at the observed speed of . Decay of the wave back can be caused by scarcity of network components, and the shape of actin waves is highly dependent on the filament disassembly rate. The model allows retraction of actin waves and captures formation of new wave fronts in broken waves. Our results demonstrate that a delicate balance between a positive feedback, filament disassembly, and local availability of network components is essential for the complex dynamics of actin waves. PMID:23741312

  13. Pattern formation in Dictyostelium discoideum aggregates in confined microenvironments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallou, Adrien; Hersen, Pascal; di Meglio, Jean-Marc; Kabla, Alexandre

    Dictyostelium Discoideum (Dd) is often viewed as a model system to study the complex collective cell behaviours which shape an embryo. Under starvation, Dd cells form multicellular aggregates which soon elongate, starting to display an anterior-posterior axis by differentiating into two distinct cell populations; prestalk (front) and prespore (rear) cells zones. Different models, either based on positional information or on differentiation followed up by cell sorting, have been proposed to explain the origin and the regulation of this spatial pattern.To decipher between the proposed hypotheses, we have developed am experimental platform where aggregates, made of genetically engineered Dd cells to express fluorescent reporters of cell differentiation in either prestalk or prespore cells, are allowed to develop in 20 to 400 μm wide hydrogel channels. Such a setup allows us to both mimic Dd confined natural soil environment and to follow the patterning dynamics using time-lapse microscopy. Tracking cell lineage commitments and positions in space and time, we demonstrate that Dd cells differentiate first into prestalk and prespore cells prior to sorting into an organized spatial pattern on the basis of collective motions based on differential motility and adhesion mechanisms. A. Hallou would like to thank the University of Cambridge for the Award of an ``Oliver Gatty Studentship in Biophysical and Colloid Science''.

  14. Identification of a penicillin-sensitive carboxypeptidase in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Yasukawa, Hiro; Kuroita, Toshihiro; Tamura, Kentaro; Yamaguchi, Kazuo

    2003-07-01

    Penicillin binding proteins (PBPs) are penicillin-sensitive DD-peptidases catalyzing the terminal stages of bacterial cell wall assembly. We identified a Dictyostelium discoideum gene that encodes a protein of 522 amino acids showing similarity to Escherichia coli PBP4. The D. discoideum protein conserves three consensus sequences (SXXK, SXN and KTG) that are responsible for the catalytic activities of PBPs. The gene product prepared in the cell-free translation system showed carboxypeptidase activity but the activity was not detected in the presence of penicillin G. These results demonstrate that the D. discoideum gene encodes a eukaryotic form of penicillin-sensitive carboxypeptidase.

  15. Some repair-deficient mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum display enhanced susceptibilities to bleomycin.

    PubMed Central

    Deering, R A; Guyer, R B; Stevens, L; Watson-Thais, T E

    1996-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum, a soil eukaryote, is highly resistant to DNA-damaging agents; repair mutants are more susceptible. Susceptibility to bleomycin, produced by Streptomyces verticillus, is greater for mutants which are susceptible to other agents than for resistant strains. The high potential for DNA repair may result from the need to cope with chemicals produced by other soil microorganisms. PMID:8834899

  16. Detection and characterisation of NAD(P)H-diaphorase activity in Dictyostelium discoideum cells (Protozoa)

    PubMed Central

    Amaroli, A.; Chessa, M.G.

    2012-01-01

    In Dictyostelium discoideum (D. discoideum), compounds generating nitric oxide (NO) inhibit its aggregation and differentiation without altering cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) production. They do it by preventing initiation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) pulses. Furthermore, these compounds stimulate adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosylation of a 41 kDa cytosolic protein and regulate the glyceraldehyde-3-phospate dehydrogenase activity. Yet, although D. discoideum cells produce NO at a relatively constant rate at the onset of their developmental cycle, there is still no evidence of the presence of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes. In this work, we detect the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d) activity in D. discoideum and we characterise it by specific inhibitors and physical-chemical conditions that allegedly distinguish between NOS-related and -unrelated NADPH-d activity. PMID:23361243

  17. The green tea catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) blocks cell motility, chemotaxis and development in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    McQuade, Kyle J; Nakajima, Akihiko; Ilacqua, April N; Shimada, Nao; Sawai, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Catechins, flavanols found at high levels in green tea, have received significant attention due to their potential health benefits related to cancer, autoimmunity and metabolic disease, but little is known about the mechanisms by which these compounds affect cellular behavior. Here, we assess whether the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum is a useful tool with which to characterize the effects of catechins. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most abundant and potent catechin in green tea, has significant effects on the Dictyostelium life cycle. In the presence of EGCG aggregation is delayed, cells do not stream and development is typically stalled at the loose aggregate stage. The developmental effects very likely result from defects in motility, as EGCG reduces both random movement and chemotaxis of Dictyostelium amoebae. These results suggest that catechins and their derivatives may be useful tools with which to better understand cell motility and development in Dictyostelium and that this organism is a useful model to further characterize the activities of catechins.

  18. Dictyostelium discoideum: a new host model system for intracellular pathogens of the genus Legionella.

    PubMed

    Hägele, S; Köhler, R; Merkert, H; Schleicher, M; Hacker, J; Steinert, M

    2000-04-01

    The soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a haploid eukaryote that, upon starvation, aggregates and enters a developmental cycle to produce fruiting bodies. In this study, we infected single-cell stages of D. discoideum with different Legionella species. Intracellular growth of Legionella in this new host system was compared with their growth in the natural host Acanthamoeba castellanii. Transmission electron microscopy of infected D. discoideum cells revealed that legionellae reside within the phagosome. Using confocal microscopy, it was observed that replicating, intracellular, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged legionellae rarely co-localized with fluorescent antibodies directed against the lysosomal protein DdLIMP of D. discoideum. This indicates that the bacteria inhibit the fusion of phagosomes and lysosomes in this particular host system. In addition, Legionella infection of D. discoideum inhibited the differentiation of the host into the multicellular fruiting stage. Co-culture studies with profilin-minus D. discoideum mutants and Legionella resulted in higher rates of infection when compared with infections of wild-type amoebae. Because the amoebae are amenable to genetic manipulation as a result of their haploid genome and because a number of cellular markers are available, we show for the first time that D. discoideum is a valuable model system for studying intracellular pathogenesis of microbial pathogens.

  19. Dictyostelium discoideum as a Novel Host System to Study the Interaction between Phagocytes and Yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Koller, Barbara; Schramm, Christin; Siebert, Susann; Triebel, János; Deland, Eric; Pfefferkorn, Anna M.; Rickerts, Volker; Thewes, Sascha

    2016-01-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a well-established model organism to study the interaction between bacteria and phagocytes. In contrast, research using D. discoideum as a host model for fungi is rare. We describe a comprehensive study, which uses D. discoideum as a host model system to investigate the interaction with apathogenic (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and pathogenic (Candida sp.) yeast. We show that Dictyostelium can be co-cultivated with yeasts on solid media, offering a convenient test to study the interaction between fungi and phagocytes. We demonstrate that a number of D. discoideum mutants increase (atg1−, kil1−, kil2−) or decrease (atg6−) the ability of the amoebae to predate yeast cells. On the yeast side, growth characteristics, reduced phagocytosis rate, as well as known virulence factors of C. albicans (EFG1, CPH1, HGC1, ICL1) contribute to the resistance of yeast cells against predation by the amoebae. Investigating haploid C. albicans strains, we suggest using the amoebae plate test for screening purposes after random mutagenesis. Finally, we discuss the potential of our adapted amoebae plate test to use D. discoideum for risk assessment of yeast strains. PMID:27818653

  20. Evidence for the presence of an NF-kappaB signal transduction system in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Traincard, F; Ponte, E; Pun, J; Coukell, B; Veron, M

    1999-10-01

    The Rel/NF-kappaB family of transcription factors and regulators has so far only been described in vertebrates and arthropods, where they mediate responses to many extracellular signals. No counterparts of genes coding for such proteins have been identified in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome and no NF-kappaB activity was found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe here the presence of an NF-kappaB transduction pathway in the lower eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum. Using antibodies raised against components of the mammalian NF-kappaB pathway, we demonstrate in Dictyostelium cells extracts the presence of proteins homologous to Rel/NF-kappaB, IkappaB and IKK components. Using gel-shift experiments in nuclear extracts of developing Dictyostelium cells, we demonstrate the presence of proteins binding to kappaB consensus oligonucleotides and to a GC-rich kappaB-like sequence, lying in the promoter of cbpA, a developmentally regulated Dictyostelium gene encoding the Ca(2+)-binding protein CBP1. Using immunofluorescence, we show specific nuclear translocation of the p65 and p50 homologues of the NF-kappaB transcription factors as vegetatively growing cells develop to the slug stage. Taken together, our results strongly indicate the presence of a complete NF-kappaB signal transduction system in Dictyostelium discoideum that could be involved in the developmental process.

  1. Monitoring time-dependent maturation changes in purified phagosomes from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Dieckmann, Régis; Gopaldass, Navin; Escalera, Caroline; Soldati, Thierry

    2008-01-01

    The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is an established model to study phagocytosis. The sequence of events leading to the internalization and degradation of a particle is conserved in D. discoideum compared to metazoan cells. As its small haploid genome has been sequenced, it is now amenable to genome-wide analysis including organelle proteomics. Therefore, we adapted to Dictyostelium the classical protocol to purify phagosomes formed by ingestion of latex beads particles. The pulse-chase protocol detailed here gives easy access to pure, intact, and synchronized phagosomes from representative stages of the entire process of phagosome maturation. Recently, this protocol was used to generate individual temporal profiles of proteins and lipids during phagosome maturation generating a proteomic fingerprint of six maturation stages (1). In addition, immunolabeling of phagosomes on a coverslip was developed to visualize and quantitate antigen distribution at the level of individual phagosomes.

  2. Efficient generation of gene knockout plasmids for Dictyostelium discoideum using one-step cloning.

    PubMed

    Wiegand, Stephan; Kruse, Janis; Gronemann, Sina; Hammann, Christian

    2011-05-01

    The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a well-established model organism for studying numerous aspects of cellular and developmental functions. Its rather small (~34Mb) chromosomal genome and the high efficiency of gene disruption by homologous recombination have enabled researchers to dissect various specific gene functions. We describe here the use of one-step cloning for the fast and efficient generation of deletion vectors that are produced in a one-step reaction by inserting two PCR products into an organism-specific, generic acceptor system. This worked efficiently for all 16 tested constructs directed against genes in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Saving cost and time, the used protocol represents a significant advancement in the generation of such plasmids compared to the conventionally applied restriction enzyme/ligation approach. Using appropriate selection markers, similar systems could also be useful in other organisms, where genes can be knocked out by homologous recombination. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Ground Testing of the EMCS Seed Cassette for Biocompatibility with the Cellular Slime Mold, Dictyostelium Discoideum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanely, Julia C.; Reinsch, Sigrid; Myers, Zachary A.; Freeman, John; Steele, Marianne K.; Sun, Gwo-Shing; Heathcote, David G.

    2014-01-01

    The European Modular Cultivation System, EMCS, was developed by ESA for plant experiments. To expand the use of flight verified hardware for various model organisms, we performed ground experiments to determine whether ARC EMCS Seed Cassettes could be adapted for use with cellular slime mold for future space flight experiments. Dictyostelium is a cellular slime mold that can exist both as a single-celled independent organism and as a part of a multicellular colony which functions as a unit (pseudoplasmodium). Under certain stress conditions, individual amoebae will aggregate to form multicellular structures. Developmental pathways are very similar to those found in Eukaryotic organisms, making this a uniquely interesting organism for use in genetic studies. Dictyostelium has been used as a genetic model organism for prior space flight experiments. Due to the formation of spores that are resistant to unfavorable conditions such as desiccation, Dictyostelium is also a good candidate for use in the EMCS Seed Cassettes. The growth substratum in the cassettes is a gridded polyether sulfone (PES) membrane. A blotter beneath the PES membranes contains dried growth medium. The goals of this study were to (1) verify that Dictyostelium are capable of normal growth and development on PES membranes, (2) develop a method for dehydration of Dictyostelium spores with successful recovery and development after rehydration, and (3) successful mock rehydration experiments in cassettes. Our results show normal developmental progression in two strains of Dictyostelium discoideum on PES membranes with a bacterial food source. We have successfully performed a mock rehydration of spores with developmental progression from aggregation to slug formation, and production of morphologically normal spores within 9 days of rehydration. Our results indicate that experiments on the ISS using the slime mold, Dictyostelium discoideum could potentially be performed in the flight verified hardware of

  4. Reconstitution of functional eukaryotic ribosomes from Dictyostelium discoideum ribosomal proteins and RNA.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G; Chiaberge, S

    1997-08-08

    40 and 60 S ribosomal subunits have been reconstituted in vitro from purified ribosomal RNA and ribosomal proteins of Dictyostelium discoideum. The functionality of the reconstituted ribosomes was demonstrated in in vitro mRNA-directed protein synthesis. The reassembly proceeded well with immature precursors of ribosomal RNA but poorly if at all with mature cytoplasmic RNA species. Reassembly also required a preparation of small nuclear RNA(s), acting as morphopoietic factor(s).

  5. The effect of selected monoterpenoids on the cellular slime mold, Dictyostelium discoideum NC4.

    PubMed

    Hwang, J Y; Kim, J H; Yun, K W

    2004-06-01

    We tested the activity of 11 main compounds identified from Pinus plants on the growth of Dictyostelium discoideum NC4. Four concentrations (1, 0.1, 0.01, 0.001 microg/microl) of each compound were tested using a disk volatilization technique following germination of D. discoideum NC4 spores. Photographs of D. discoideum NC4 fruiting bodies were taken 2 days after treatment. Fenchone (at 0.1, 0.01, and 0.001 microg/microl) and camphene (at 0.01 microg/microl) stimulated growth of D. discoideum NC4. (1S)-(-)-verbenone, (1S)-(-)-alpha-pinene, (+)-beta-pinene, myrcene, (-)-menthone, (-)-bornyl acetate, (S)-(+)-carvone, (-)-camphene, and (R)-(+)-limonene inhibit its growth. All of the compounds at 1 microg/microl had a strong inhibitory effect on cell growth of D. discoideum NC4. Microscopic observation of the fruiting bodies matched the results of growth rate analysis. Most of the inhibitory effects were represented by changes in the shapes of the fruiting bodies. These changes include short sorophores, smaller sized sori, and sori without spores. Our results suggest that inhibition of growth is the most common effect of monoterpenoids on D. discoideum NC4. Nevertheless, some of them, like fenchone and camphene, seem to enhance its growth.

  6. Lipopolysaccharide induction of autophagy is associated with enhanced bactericidal activity in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Pflaum, Katherine; Gerdes, Kimberly; Yovo, Kossi; Callahan, Jennifer; Snyder, Michelle L.D.

    2012-01-01

    Innate immune cells respond to microbial invaders using pattern recognition receptors that detect conserved microbial patterns. Among the cellular processes stimulated downstream of pattern recognition machinery is the initiation of autophagy, which plays protective roles against intracellular microbes. We have shown recently that Dictyostelium discoideum, which takes up bacteria for nutritive purposes, may employ pattern recognition machinery to respond to bacterial prey, as D. discoideum cells upregulate bactericidal activity upon stimulation by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Here we extend these findings, showing that LPS treatment leads to induction of autophagosomal maturation in cells responding to the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Cells treated with the autophagy-inducing drug rapamycin clear internalized bacteria at an accelerated rate, while LPS-enhanced clearance of bacteria is reduced in cells deficient for the autophagy-related genes atg1 and atg9. These findings link microbial pattern recognition with autophagy in the social amoeba D. discoideum. PMID:22575510

  7. Identification of the homolog of cell-counting factor in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Okuwa, Takako; Katayama, Takahiro; Takano, Akinori; Yasukawa, Hiroo

    2002-10-01

    Genes for the cell-counting factors in Dictyostelium discoideum, countin and countin2, are considered to control the size of the multicellular structure of this organism. A novel gene, countin3, that is homologous to countin and countin2 genes (49 and 39% identity in amino acid sequence, respectively) was identified in the D. discoideum genome. The expression of countin3 was observed in the vegetatively growing cells, decreased in the aggregating stage, increased in the mid-developmental stage and decreased again in subsequent stages. This expression pattern is different from that of countin and countin2. The distinct expression kinetics of three genes suggests that they would have unique roles in size control of D. discoideum.

  8. Two cell-counting factors regulate the aggregate size of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Okuwa, T; Katayama, T; Takano, A; Kodaira, K; Yasukawa, H

    2001-12-01

    Countin, a cell-counting factor in Dictyostelium discoideum, is considered to limit the maximum size of the multicellular structure, because a countin null strain forms a huge fruiting body compared to that of the wild-type. A novel gene, countin2, that is highly homologous to countin (40% identity in amino acid sequence) was identified in the D. discoideum genome. The countin2 null strain formed a 1.7-fold higher number of the aggregates, resulting in smaller fruiting bodies compared with those of wild-type cells. Thus, the Countin2 protein is thought to limit the minimum size of the multicellular structure. The size and number of aggregates formed by a mixture of countin null and countin2 null strains were the same as those of the wild-type. These findings demonstrate that a combination of Countin and Countin2 proteins determines the appropriate size of the multicellular structure of D. discoideum.

  9. Analysis of Rheb in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum: cellular localization, spatial expression and overexpression.

    PubMed

    Swer, Pynskhem Bok; Bhadoriya, Pooja; Saran, Shweta

    2014-03-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum encodes a single Rheb protein showing sequence similarity to human homologues of Rheb. The DdRheb protein shares 52 percent identity and 100 percent similarity with the human Rheb1 protein. Fluorescence of Rheb yellow fluorescent protein fusion was detected in the D. discoideum cytoplasm. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and whole-mount in situ hybridization analyses showed that rheb is expressed at all stages of development and in prestalk cells in the multicellular structures developed. When the expression of rheb as a fusion with lacZ was driven under its own promoter, the beta-galactosidase activity was seen in the prestalk cells. D. discoideum overexpressing Rheb shows an increase in the size of the cell. Treatment of the overexpressing Rheb cells with rapamycin confirms its involvement in the TOR signalling pathway.

  10. The cyclin-dependent kinase family in the social amoebozoan Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Huber, Robert J

    2014-02-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdk) are a family of serine/threonine protein kinases that regulate eukaryotic cell cycle progression. Their ability to modulate the cell cycle has made them an attractive target for anti-cancer therapies. Cdk protein function has been studied in a variety of Eukaryotes ranging from yeast to humans. In the social amoebozoan Dictyostelium discoideum, several homologues of mammalian Cdks have been identified and characterized. The life cycle of this model organism is comprised of a feeding stage where single cells grow and divide mitotically as they feed on their bacterial food source and a multicellular developmental stage that is induced by starvation. Thus it is a valuable system for studying a variety of cellular and developmental processes. In this review I summarize the current knowledge of the Cdk protein family in Dictyostelium by highlighting the research efforts focused on the characterization of Cdk1, Cdk5, and Cdk8 in this model Eukaryote. Accumulated evidence indicates that each protein performs distinct functions during the Dictyostelium life cycle with Cdk1 being required for growth and Cdk5 and Cdk8 being required for processes that occur during development. Recent studies have shown that Dictyostelium Cdk5 shares attributes with mammalian Cdk5 and that the mammalian Cdk inhibitor roscovitine can be used to inhibit Cdk5 activity in Dictyostelium. Together, these results show that Dictyostelium can be used as a model system for studying Cdk protein function.

  11. Autonomous buckling of micrometer-sized lipid-protein membrane patches constructed by Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kei; Toyota, Taro

    2015-01-01

    The cytosol of amoeba cells controls the membrane deformation during their motion in vivo. To investigate such ability of the cytosol of amoeba cell, Dictyostelium discoideum (Dictyostelium), in vitro, we used lipids extracted from Dictyostelium and commercially available phospholipids, and prepared substrate-supported lipid membrane patches on the micrometer scale by spin coating. We found that the spin coater holder, which has pores (pore size = 3.1 mm) of negative pressure to hold the cover glass induced the concave surface of the cover glass. The membrane lipid patches were formed at each position in the vicinity of the holder pores and their sizes were in the range of 2.7 to 3.2 × 10(4) μm(2). After addition of the cytosol extracted from Dictyostelium to the lipid membrane patches, through time-lapse observation with a confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscope, we observed an autonomous buckling of the Dictyostelium lipid patches and localized behaviours of proteins found within. The current method serves as the novel technique for the preparation of film patches in which the positions of patches are controlled by the holder pores without fabricating, modifying, and arranging the chemical properties of the solution components of lipids. The findings imply that lipid-binding proteins in the cytosol were adsorbed and accumulated within the Dictyostelium lipid patches, inducing the transformation of the cell-sized patch.

  12. Phosphorylation of proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum during development

    SciTech Connect

    Coffman, D.S.

    1982-01-01

    The phosphoproteins in D. discoideum were studied with respect to their formation, metabolic stability, cellular and subcellular distribution. Special emphasis was on the role of cAMP on the pattern of phosphorylation. Amoebae were metabolically labeled with /sup 32/P/sub i/; subsequently proteins of the total lysate, nuclei and membranes were resolved by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subjected to autoradiography. Numerous changes in the profile of phosphoproteins were observed during development. Functions were assigned to four membranal phosphoproteins; only one protein, the heavy chain of myosin, was susceptible to phosphorylation in vitro when purified membranes and /sup 32/P-ATP were used. A comparison between the time of protein synthesis and phosphorylation, as examined in vivo using /sup 35/S-methionine and /sup 32/P/sub i/ labeling of amoebae and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, indicated that phosphorylation is concurrent with synthesis. It appears then that there are two classes of membranal phosphoproteins in D. discoideum which differ with respect to the stability of the phosphate moiety. It is evident that the turnover of the phosphate moiety in myosin heavy chain plays a crucial role in the function of myosin; a role for the metabolically inert phosphate of other membranal proteins remains to be established. The G protein which couples occupancy of hormone receptor to stimulation of adenylate cyclase in higher multicellular eukaryotes was detected in D. discoideum. The G protein is present in approximately equal amounts in vegetative and in developing amoebae.

  13. Signaling molecules involved in the transition of growth to development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Mir, Hina A; Rajawat, Jyotika; Pradhan, Shalmali; Begum, Rasheedunnisa

    2007-03-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, a powerful paradigm provides clear insights into the regulation of growth and development. In addition to possessing complex individual cellular functions like a unicellular eukaryote, D. discoideum cells face the challenge of multicellular development. D. discoideum undergoes a relatively simple differentiation process mainly by cAMP mediated pathway. Despite this relative simplicity, the regulatory signaling pathways are as complex as those seen in metazoan development. However, the introduction of restriction-enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) technique to produce developmental gene knockouts has provided novel insights into the discovery of signaling molecules and their role in D. discoideum development. Cell cycle phase is an important aspect for differentiation of D. discoideum, as cells must reach a specific stage to enter into developmental phase and specific cell cycle regulators are involved in arresting growth phase genes and inducing the developmental genes. In this review, we present an overview of the signaling molecules involved in the regulation of growth to differentiation transition (GDT), molecular mechanism of early developmental events leading to generation of cAMP signal and components of cAMP relay system that operate in this paradigm.

  14. The use of streptavidin conjugates as immunoblot loading controls and mitochondrial markers for use with Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Andrew J; King, Jason S; Insall, Robert H

    2013-07-01

    The loading controls used for quantitative immunoblotting of mammalian proteins are not appropriate for use with Dictyostelium discoideum. Actin levels, for example, change greatly during Dictyostelium development. In addition, Dictyostelium-specific antibodies for other potential control proteins are not commercially available. Here we demonstrate the use of labeled streptavidin to detect biotinylated mitochondrial 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase α (MCCC1), providing a robust and convenient tool for quantitative normalization of Dictyostelium Western blots, as well as fluorescently labeling mitochondria for microscopy of fixed cells.

  15. Studies on the transcription, translation, and structure of alpha- actinin in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    1986-01-01

    A clone coding for the F-actin cross-linking protein alpha-actinin was obtained by screening a genomic library of Dictyostelium discoideum DNA in lambda gt11 with monoclonal antibodies specific for Dictyostelium alpha-actinin. The 1.2-kilobase (kb) genomic clone was confirmed as containing part of the alpha-actinin gene by comparing its nucleotide sequence with the amino acid sequence of tryptic peptides from purified alpha-actinin. The clone recognized a 3.0-kb message in a Northern blot. Hybridization to RNA isolated from different developmental stages of several D. discoideum strains indicated that the mRNA content increased during early development. A similar result was obtained when the alpha-actinin content of the cells was followed by Western blot analysis. Hybridization of the clone to DNA from different wild-type strains of D. discoideum indicated a polymorphism on the DNA level that coincided with a polymorphism on the protein level. The data suggest continuous transcription of the alpha-actinin gene throughout the development of D. discoideum, up- and down-regulation of the levels of alpha-actinin mRNA and protein with maximum levels at the onset of aggregation, and a high diversity of alpha-actinin at the DNA and protein level among different D. discoideum strains. The structural data make it conceivable that the highly conserved nature of alpha- actinin resides only at the functional sites, whereas the helical portions of the alpha-actinin molecule allow a higher level of diversity throughout evolution. PMID:3745276

  16. Studies on the transcription, translation, and structure of alpha-actinin in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Witke, W; Schleicher, M; Lottspeich, F; Noegel, A

    1986-09-01

    A clone coding for the F-actin cross-linking protein alpha-actinin was obtained by screening a genomic library of Dictyostelium discoideum DNA in lambda gt11 with monoclonal antibodies specific for Dictyostelium alpha-actinin. The 1.2-kilobase (kb) genomic clone was confirmed as containing part of the alpha-actinin gene by comparing its nucleotide sequence with the amino acid sequence of tryptic peptides from purified alpha-actinin. The clone recognized a 3.0-kb message in a Northern blot. Hybridization to RNA isolated from different developmental stages of several D. discoideum strains indicated that the mRNA content increased during early development. A similar result was obtained when the alpha-actinin content of the cells was followed by Western blot analysis. Hybridization of the clone to DNA from different wild-type strains of D. discoideum indicated a polymorphism on the DNA level that coincided with a polymorphism on the protein level. The data suggest continuous transcription of the alpha-actinin gene throughout the development of D. discoideum, up- and down-regulation of the levels of alpha-actinin mRNA and protein with maximum levels at the onset of aggregation, and a high diversity of alpha-actinin at the DNA and protein level among different D. discoideum strains. The structural data make it conceivable that the highly conserved nature of alpha-actinin resides only at the functional sites, whereas the helical portions of the alpha-actinin molecule allow a higher level of diversity throughout evolution.

  17. Conserved protein domains in a myosin heavy chain gene from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Warrick, H M; De Lozanne, A; Leinwand, L A; Spudich, J A

    1986-01-01

    The 2116-amino acid myosin heavy chain sequence from Dictyostelium discoideum was determined from DNA sequence analysis of the cloned gene. The gene product can be divided into two distinct regions, a globular head region and a long alpha-helical, rod-like tail. In comparisons with nematode and mammalian muscle myosins, specific areas of the head region are highly conserved. These areas presumably reflect conserved functional and structural domains. Certain features that are present in the head region of nematode and mammalian muscle myosins, and that have been assumed to be important for myosin function, are missing in the Dictyostelium myosin sequence. The protein sequence of the Dictyostelium tail region is very poorly conserved with respect to the other myosins but displays the periodicities similar to those of muscle myosins. These periodicities are believed to play a role in filament formation. The 196-residue repeating unit that determines the 14.3-nm repeat seen in muscle thick filaments, the 28-residue charge repeating unit, and the 1,4 hydrophobic repeat previously described for the nematode myosin are all present in the Dictyostelium myosin rod sequence, suggesting that the filament structures of muscle and Dictyostelium myosins must be similar. PMID:3540939

  18. Calmodulin and the contractile vacuole complex in mitotic cells of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Q; Liu, T; Clarke, M

    1993-04-01

    In amoebae of the eukaryotic microorganism Dictyostelium discoideum, calmodulin is greatly enriched on membranes of the contractile vacuole complex, an osmoregulatory organelle. Antibodies specific for Dictyostelium calmodulin were used in the present study to immunolocalize the contractile vacuole complex in relation to the Golgi complex (detected with wheat germ agglutinin) and the microtubule organizing center (MTOC, detected with anti-tubulin antibodies). Cells were examined throughout the cell cycle. Double-staining experiments indicated that the contractile vacuole complex extended to the MTOC in interphase cells, usually, but not always, overlapping the Golgi complex. In metaphase and anaphase cells, the Golgi staining became diffuse, suggesting dispersal of Golgi membranes. In the same mitotic cells, anti-calmodulin antibodies labeled numerous small cortical vacuoles, indicating that the contractile vacuole complex had also become dispersed. When living mitotic cells were examined, the small cortical vacuoles were seen to be active, implying that all parts of the Dictyostelium contractile vacuole complex possess the ability to accumulate fluid and fuse with the plasma membrane. In contrast to observations reported for other types of cells, anti-calmodulin antibodies did not label the mitotic spindle in Dictyostelium. Despite this difference in localization, it is possible that vacuole-associated calmodulin in Dictyostelium cells and spindle-associated calmodulin in larger eukaryotic cells might perform a similar function, namely, regulating calcium levels.

  19. Migration in the social stage of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae impacts competition

    PubMed Central

    Buttery, Neil; Adu-Oppong, Boahemaa; Powers, Michael; Thompson, Christopher R.L.; Queller, David C.; Strassmann, Joan E.

    2015-01-01

    Interaction conditions can change the balance of cooperation and conflict in multicellular groups. After aggregating together, cells of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum may migrate as a group (known as a slug) to a new location. We consider this migration stage as an arena for social competition and conflict because the cells in the slug may not be from a genetically homogeneous population. In this study, we examined the interplay of two seemingly diametric actions, the solitary action of kin recognition and the collective action of slug migration in D. discoideum, to more fully understand the effects of social competition on fitness over the entire lifecycle. We compare slugs composed of either genetically homogenous or heterogeneous cells that have migrated or remained stationary in the social stage of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. After migration of chimeric slugs, we found that facultative cheating is reduced, where facultative cheating is defined as greater contribution to spore relative to stalk than found for that clone in the clonal state. In addition our results support previous findings that competitive interactions in chimeras diminish slug migration distance. Furthermore, fruiting bodies have shorter stalks after migration, even accounting for cell numbers at that time. Taken together, these results show that migration can alleviate the conflict of interests in heterogeneous slugs. It aligns their interest in finding a more advantageous place for dispersal, where shorter stalks suffice, which leads to a decrease in cheating behavior. PMID:26528414

  20. A neutral ceramidase homologue from Dictyostelium discoideum exhibits an acidic pH optimum.

    PubMed Central

    Monjusho, Hatsumi; Okino, Nozomu; Tani, Motohiro; Maeda, Mineko; Yoshida, Motonobu; Ito, Makoto

    2003-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence reported for the Dictyostelium discoideum ceramidase is available on the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ). Ceramidases (CDases) are currently classified into three categories (acid, neutral and alkaline) based on their optimal pHs and primary structures. Here, we report the first exception to this rule. We cloned the CDase cDNA, consisting of 2142 nucleotides encoding 714 amino-acid residues, from the slime mould, Dictyostelium discoideum. The putative amino-acid sequence indicates 32-42% identity with various neutral CDases, but does not show any similarity to the acid and alkaline CDases, indicating the enzyme should be classified as a neutral CDase. However, overexpression of the cDNA in D. discoideum resulted in increased CDase activity at an acidic, but not a neutral pH range. Knockout of the gene in slime mould eliminated CDase activity at acidic pH. The recombinant enzyme expressed in the slime mould was purified and then characterized. Consequently, the purified CDase was found to exhibit the maximal activity at approx. pH 3.0. The singular pH dependency of slime mould CDase is not derived from the specific post-translational modification in the slime mould, because the enzyme showed an acidic pH optimum even when expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, whereas rat neutral-CDase exhibited a neutral pH optimum when expressed in slime mould. PMID:12943537

  1. A GPCR involved in post aggregation events in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Prabhu, Yogikala; Mondal, Subhanjan; Eichinger, Ludwig; Noegel, Angelika A

    2007-12-01

    Dictyostelium has 55 genes encoding seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) that belong to five of the six GPCR families. GrlA is one of the 17 family 3 GPCRs in Dictyostelium all of which resemble GABA(B) receptors from higher eukaryotes. GrlA is a 90-kDa protein present on the plasma membrane and on membranes of the ER. It has a large extracellular domain with homology to bacterial periplasmic proteins. The GrlA message is present throughout development and shows increased levels during the post aggregation stages. Inactivation of the grlA gene does not severely affect the growth phase, however, it leads to a delay in the development at the post aggregation stage. GrlA deficient strains show an altered DIF-1 response specific to the prestalk-specific ecmA and ecmB gene, reduced car2 and pkaC transcript levels and form a reduced number of spores. Germination of the spores was as in wild type. Transcriptional profiling supported the defect in the sporulation pathway as a large number of genes involved in the biogenesis and organization of the extracellular matrix and the sporulation process were significantly downregulated in the mutant.

  2. Purification, crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of dihydropyrimidinase from Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Lohkamp, Bernhard; Andersen, Birgit; Piškur, Jure; Dobritzsch, Doreen

    2006-01-01

    Dihydropyrimidinase from the slime mould D. discoideum was crystallized. A single crystal was shown to belong to space group I222 and diffracted anisotropically to better than 1.8 Å. Dihydropyrimidinase (EC 3.5.2.2) is the second enzyme in the reductive pyrimidine-degradation pathway and catalyses the hydrolysis of 5,6-dihydrouracil and 5,6-dihydrothymine to the corresponding N-carbamylated β-amino acids. The recombinant enzyme from the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum was overexpressed, purified and crystallized by the vapour-diffusion method. One crystal diffracted to better than 1.8 Å resolution on a synchrotron source and was shown to belong to space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 84.6, b = 89.6, c = 134.9 Å and one molecule in the asymmetric unit.

  3. The phylogeny of the aromatic amino acid hydroxylases revisited by characterizing phenylalanine hydroxylase from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Siltberg-Liberles, Jessica; Steen, Ida Helene; Svebak, Randi M; Martinez, Aurora

    2008-12-31

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum contains only one aromatic amino acid hydroxylase (AAAH) gene compared to at least three in metazoans. As shown in this work this gene codes for a phenylalanine hydroxylase (DictyoPAH) and phylogenetic analysis places this enzyme close to the precursor AAAHs, aiding to define the evolutionary history of the AAAH family. DictyoPAH shows significant similarities to other eukaryote PAH, but it exhibits higher activity with tetrahydrodictyopterin (DH4) than with tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) as cofactor. DH4 is an abundant tetrahydropterin in D. discoideum while BH4 is the natural cofactor of the AAAHs in mammals. Moreover, DictyoPAH is devoid of the characteristic regulatory mechanisms of mammalian PAH such as positive cooperativity for L-Phe and activation by preincubation with the substrate. Analysis of the few active site substitutions between DictyoPAH and mammalian PAH, including mutant expression analysis, reveals potential structural determinants for allosteric regulation.

  4. Developmental and Spatial Expression of sir2 Genes in the Cellular Slime Mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Takahiro; Yasukawa, Hiro

    2008-01-01

    The cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum grows as unicellular free-living amoebae in the presence of nutrients. Upon starvation, the amoebae aggregate and form multicellular structures that each consist of a stalk and spores. D. discoideum encodes at least four proteins (Sir2A, Sir2B, Sir2C, and Sir2D) homologous to human SIRT. RT-PCR and WISH analyses showed that the genes for Sir2A, Sir2C, and Sir2D were expressed at high levels in growing cells but at decreased levels in developing cells, whereas the gene encoding Sir2B was expressed in the prestalk-cell region in the developmental phase.

  5. Identification of Delta5-fatty acid desaturase from the cellular slime mold dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Saito, T; Ochiai, H

    1999-10-01

    cDNA fragments putatively encoding amino acid sequences characteristic of the fatty acid desaturase were obtained using expressed sequence tag (EST) information of the Dictyostelium cDNA project. Using this sequence, we have determined the cDNA sequence and genomic sequence of a desaturase. The cloned cDNA is 1489 nucleotides long and the deduced amino acid sequence comprised 464 amino acid residues containing an N-terminal cytochrome b5 domain. The whole sequence was 38.6% identical to the initially identified Delta5-desaturase of Mortierella alpina. We have confirmed its function as Delta5-desaturase by over expression mutation in D. discoideum and also the gain of function mutation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Analysis of the lipids from transformed D. discoideum and yeast demonstrated the accumulation of Delta5-desaturated products. This is the first report concering fatty acid desaturase in cellular slime molds.

  6. Systematic evaluation of buffer influences on the development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Márquez López, Johanna; Sulzmann, Anja; Thewes, Sascha

    2016-01-01

    Development and cell differentiation are key features of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Already at early developmental stages, the gene expression profile changes in the amoebae to make the cells aggregation competent. In the laboratory, development starts when the cells are washed free of nutrients. For this purpose, various non-nutrient buffers are used in different laboratories. However, to date, it is not clear if different buffers have different influences on the development of D. discoideum. Therefore, we investigated systematically the influence of six widely used buffers on the development of D. discoideum. Investigation was done at the phenotypical, biochemical, and molecular level. The results show that some of the investigated buffers show clear differences in the phenotypical outcome of the developmental cycle, at a biochemical level as measured in the response to cAMP, and/or at a molecular level as measured in the expression of early developmental marker genes. According to our results buffer compositions should be considered carefully for all developmental experiments with D. discoideum, especially when gene expression will be investigated.

  7. Dictyostelium discoideum protein phosphatase-1 catalytic subunit exhibits distinct biochemical properties.

    PubMed Central

    Andrioli, Luiz P M; Zaini, Paulo A; Viviani, Wladia; Da Silva, Aline M

    2003-01-01

    Protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) is expressed ubiquitously and is involved in many eukaryotic cellular functions, although PP1 enzyme activity could not be detected in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum cell extracts. In the present paper, we show that D. discoideum has a single copy gene that codes for the catalytic subunit of PP1 (DdPP1c). DdPP1c is expressed throughout the D. discoideum life cycle with constant levels of mRNA, and its protein and amino acid sequence show a mean identity of 80% with other PP1c enzymes. However, it has a distinctive difference: the substitution of a phenylalanine residue (Phe(269) in the DdPP1c) for a highly conserved cysteine residue (Cys(273) in rabbit PP1c) in a region that was shown to have a critical role in the interaction of rabbit PP1c with toxin inhibitors. Wild-type DdPP1c and an engineered mutant form in which Phe(269) was replaced by a cysteine residue were expressed in Escherichia coli. Both recombinant activities were similarly inhibited by okadaic acid, tautomycin and microcystin. However, the Phe(269)-->Cys mutation resulted in a large increase in enzyme activity towards phosphorylase a and a higher sensitivity to calyculin A. These results, together with the molecular modelling of DdPP1c structure, indicate that the Phe(269) residue, which occurs naturally in D. discoideum, confers distinct biochemical properties on this enzyme. PMID:12737629

  8. Furanodictine A and B: amino sugar analogues produced by cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum showing neuronal differentiation activity.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, H; Saito, Y; Komiya, J; Takaya, Y; Honma, S; Nakahata, N; Ito, A; Oshima, Y

    2001-10-19

    We investigated the constituents of Dictyostelium discoideum to clarify the diversity of secondary metabolites of Dictyostelium cellular slime molds and to explore biologically active substances that could be useful in the development of novel drugs. From a methanol extract of the multicellular fruit body of D. discoideum, we isolated two novel amino sugar analogues, furanodictine A (1) and B (2). They are the first 3,6-anhydrosugars to be isolated from natural sources. Their relative structures were elucidated by spectral means, and the absolute configurations were confirmed by asymmetric syntheses of 1 and 2. These furanodictines potently induce neuronal differentiation of rat pheochromocytoma (PC-12) cells.

  9. Secreted Cyclic Di-GMP Induces Stalk Cell Differentiation in the Eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhi-hui; Schaap, Pauline

    2016-01-01

    Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is currently recognized as the most widely used intracellular signal molecule in prokaryotes, but roles in eukaryotes were only recently discovered. In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, c-di-GMP, produced by a prokaryote-type diguanylate cyclase, induces the differentiation of stalk cells, thereby enabling the formation of spore-bearing fruiting bodies. In this review, we summarize the currently known mechanisms that control the major life cycle transitions of Dictyostelium and focus particularly on the role of c-di-GMP in stalk formation. Stalk cell differentiation has characteristics of autophagic cell death, a process that also occurs in higher eukaryotes. We discuss the respective roles of c-di-GMP and of another signal molecule, differentiation-inducing factor 1, in autophagic cell death in vitro and in stalk formation in vivo.

  10. The Dictyostelium discoideum cellulose synthase: Structure/function analysis and identification of interacting proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Richard L. Blanton

    2004-02-19

    OAK-B135 The major accomplishments of this project were: (1) the initial characterization of dcsA, the gene for the putative catalytic subunit of cellulose synthase in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum; (2) the detection of a developmentally regulated event (unidentified, but perhaps a protein modification or association with a protein partner) that is required for cellulose synthase activity (i.e., the dcsA product is necessary, but not sufficient for cellulose synthesis); (3) the continued exploration of the developmental context of cellulose synthesis and DcsA; (4) the isolation of a GFP-DcsA-expressing strain (work in progress); and (5) the identification of Dictyostelium homologues for plant genes whose products play roles in cellulose biosynthesis. Although our progress was slow and many of our results negative, we did develop a number of promising avenues of investigation that can serve as the foundation for future projects.

  11. Expression of the human muscarinic receptor gene m2 in Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Voith, G.; Dingermann, T.

    1995-11-01

    We have expressed a functional human muscarinic M2 receptor, under the control of the homologous discoidin I{gamma} promoter, in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. The use of a contact site A leader peptide ensured insertion of the newly synthesized receptor protein into the plasma membrane. Due to the characteristics of the discoidin I{gamma} promoter, the M2 receptor is expressed during late growth and early development. The heterologously expressed M2 receptors show binding characteristics similar to authentic receptors. Membranes as well as whole cells can be used in ligand binding assays. 36 refs., 4 figs.

  12. Characterization of a 1,4-. beta. -D-glucan synthase from Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Blanton, R.L.

    1992-01-15

    Various aspects of research concerning Dictyostelium discoideum are presented. The initial focus of this project was upon: the characterization of potential probes for the cellulose synthase (antibody and nucleic acid), the determination of the cultural induction conditions of cellulose synthesis, the solubilization of the enzyme activity, the development of a non-inhibitory disruption buffer, the generation and isolation of mutant strains deficient in cellulose synthesis, and the development of the capability to determine the degree of polymerization of the in vitro product. I have briefly summarized our most significant findings with only selected data sets being shown in this report in the interest of brevity.

  13. Identification of cysteine protease inhibitors that belong to cystatin family 1 in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    El-Halawany, Medhat S; Ohkouchi, Susumu; Shibata, Hideki; Hitomi, Kiyotaka; Maki, Masatoshi

    2004-06-01

    Family 1 cystatins are cytosolic inhibitors of cysteine proteases, and they are conserved in higher eukaryotes. We characterized two newly identified family 1 cystatins of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, cystatin A1 and A2. Their recombinant proteins showed specific inhibitory activity against papain and cathepsin B, respectively. Using specific polyclonal antibodies, we found that cystatin A1 is stably expressed throughout the life cycle of Dictyostelium, whereas cystatin A2 expression is up-regulated during the course of development.

  14. Modelling cell movement, cell differentiation, cell sorting and proportion regulation in Dictyostelium discoideum aggregations.

    PubMed

    Pineda, M; Weijer, C J; Eftimie, R

    2015-04-07

    Understanding the mechanisms that control tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis is a central goal not only in developmental biology but also has great relevance for our understanding of various diseases, including cancer. A model organism that is widely used to study the control of tissue morphogenesis and proportioning is the Dictyostelium discoideum. While there are mathematical models describing the role of chemotactic cell motility in the Dictyostelium assembly and morphogenesis of multicellular tissues, as well as models addressing possible mechanisms of proportion regulation, there are no models incorporating both these key aspects of development. In this paper, we introduce a 1D hyperbolic model to investigate the role of two morphogens, DIF and cAMP, on cell movement, cell sorting, cell-type differentiation and proportioning in Dictyostelium discoideum. First, we use the non-spatial version of the model to study cell-type transdifferentiation. We perform a steady-state analysis of it and show that, depending on the shape of the differentiation rate functions, multiple steady-state solutions may occur. Then we incorporate spatial dynamics into the model, and investigate the transdifferentiation and spatial positioning of cells inside the newly formed structures, following the removal of prestalk or prespore regions of a Dictyostelium slug. We show that in isolated prespore fragments, a tipped mound-like aggregate can be formed after a transdifferentiation from prespore to prestalk cells and following the sorting of prestalk cells to the centre of the aggregate. For isolated prestalk fragments, we show the formation of a slug-like structure containing the usual anterior-posterior pattern of prestalk and prespore cells.

  15. Cell-cell contact mediates cAMP secretion in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Fontana, D R; Price, P L; Phillips, J C

    1991-01-01

    Cyclic adenosine 3':5' monophosphate (cAMP) and cell-cell contact regulate developmental gene expression in Dictyostelium discoideum. Developing D. discoideum amoebae synthesize and secrete cAMP following the binding of cAMP to their surface cAMP receptor, a response called cAMP signaling. We have demonstrated two responses of developing D. discoideum amoebae to cell-cell contact. Cell-cell contact elicits cAMP secretion and alters the amount of cAMP secreted in a subsequent cAMP signaling response. Depending upon experimental conditions, bacterial-amoebal contact and amoebal-amoebal contact can enhance or diminish the amount of cAMP secreted during a subsequent cAMP signaling response. We have hypothesized that cell-cell contact regulates D. discoideum development by altering cellular and extracellular levels of cAMP. To begin testing this hypothesis, these responses were further characterized. The two responses to cell-cell contact are independent, i.e., they can each occur in the absence of the other. The responses to cell-cell contact also have unique temperature dependences when compared to each other, cAMP signaling, and phagocytosis. This suggests that these four responses have unique steps in their transduction mechanisms. The secretion of cAMP in response to cell-cell contact appears to be a non-specific response; contact between D. discoideum amoebae and Enterobacter aerogenes, latex beads, or other amoebae elicits cAMP secretion. Despite the apparent similarities of the effects of bacterial-amoebal and amoebal-amoebal contact on the cAMP signaling response, this contact-induced response appears to be specific. Latex beads addition does not alter the magnitude of a subsequent cAMP signaling response.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  16. Filamin repeat segments required for photosensory signalling in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Annesley, Sarah J; Bandala-Sanchez, Esther; Ahmed, Afsar U; Fisher, Paul R

    2007-01-01

    Background Filamin is an actin binding protein which is ubiquitous in eukaryotes and its basic structure is well conserved – an N-terminal actin binding domain followed by a series of repeated segments which vary in number in different organisms. D. discoideum is a well established model organism for the study of signalling pathways and the actin cytoskeleton and as such makes an excellent organism in which to study filamin. Ddfilamin plays a putative role as a scaffolding protein in a photosensory signalling pathway and this role is thought to be mediated by the unusual repeat segments in the rod domain. Results To study the role of filamin in phototaxis, a filamin null mutant, HG1264, was transformed with constructs each of which expressed wild type filamin or a mutant filamin with a deletion of one of the repeat segments. Transformants expressing the full length filamin to wild type levels completely rescued the phototaxis defect in HG1264, however if filamin was expressed at lower than wild type levels the phototaxis defect was not restored. The transformants lacking any one of the repeat segments 2–6 retained defective phototaxis and thermotaxis phenotypes, whereas transformants expressing filaminΔ1 exhibited a range of partial complementation of the phototaxis phenotype which was related to expression levels. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that filamin lacking any of the repeat segments still localised to the same actin rich areas as wild type filamin. Ddfilamin interacts with RasD and IP experiments demonstrated that this interaction did not rely upon any single repeat segment or the actin binding domain. Conclusion This paper demonstrates that wild type levels of filamin expression are essential for the formation of functional photosensory signalling complexes and that each of the repeat segments 2–6 are essential for filamins role in phototaxis. By contrast, repeat segment 1 is not essential provided the mutated filamin lacking repeat segment

  17. Deficiency of huntingtin has pleiotropic effects in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Myre, Michael A; Lumsden, Amanda L; Thompson, Morgan N; Wasco, Wilma; MacDonald, Marcy E; Gusella, James F

    2011-04-01

    Huntingtin is a large HEAT repeat protein first identified in humans, where a polyglutamine tract expansion near the amino terminus causes a gain-of-function mechanism that leads to selective neuronal loss in Huntington's disease (HD). Genetic evidence in humans and knock-in mouse models suggests that this gain-of-function involves an increase or deregulation of some aspect of huntingtin's normal function(s), which remains poorly understood. As huntingtin shows evolutionary conservation, a powerful approach to discovering its normal biochemical role(s) is to study the effects caused by its deficiency in a model organism with a short life-cycle that comprises both cellular and multicellular developmental stages. To facilitate studies aimed at detailed knowledge of huntingtin's normal function(s), we generated a null mutant of hd, the HD ortholog in Dictyostelium discoideum. Dictyostelium cells lacking endogenous huntingtin were viable but during development did not exhibit the typical polarized morphology of Dictyostelium cells, streamed poorly to form aggregates by accretion rather than chemotaxis, showed disorganized F-actin staining, exhibited extreme sensitivity to hypoosmotic stress, and failed to form EDTA-resistant cell-cell contacts. Surprisingly, chemotactic streaming could be rescued in the presence of the bivalent cations Ca(2+) or Mg(2+) but not pulses of cAMP. Although hd(-) cells completed development, it was delayed and proceeded asynchronously, producing small fruiting bodies with round, defective spores that germinated spontaneously within a glassy sorus. When developed as chimeras with wild-type cells, hd(-) cells failed to populate the pre-spore region of the slug. In Dictyostelium, huntingtin deficiency is compatible with survival of the organism but renders cells sensitive to low osmolarity, which produces pleiotropic cell autonomous defects that affect cAMP signaling and as a consequence development. Thus, Dictyostelium provides a novel haploid

  18. Synthesis and SAR of 4-methyl-5-pentylbenzene-1,3-diol (MPBD), produced by Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Murata, Chihiro; Ogura, Tetsuhiro; Narita, Shuhei; Kondo, Anna P; Iwasaki, Natsumi; Saito, Tamao; Usuki, Toyonobu

    2016-03-01

    4-Methyl-5-pentylbenzene-1,3-diol (MPBD) is a secondary metabolite of SteelyA polyketide synthase, which controls cell aggregation and spore maturation of Dictyostelium discoideum. In this study, chemical synthesis of MPBD and its derivatives was achieved. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies for antimicrobial activities against Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis were also conducted.

  19. Motile activities of Dictyostelium discoideum differ from those in Protista or vertebrate animal cells.

    PubMed

    Waligórska, Agnieszka; Wianecka-Skoczeń, Magdalena; Korohoda, Włodzimierz

    2007-01-01

    Cell movement in the amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum has been examined in media differing in monovalent cation concentration (i.e. Na+ and K+). Under isotonic or even slightly hypertonic conditions, the cells move equally well in solutions in which either potassium or sodium ions dominate. However, in strongly hypertonic solutions the amoebae showed motility in a 2% potassium chloride solution, but remained motionless in a hypertonic 2% sodium chloride solution. This inhibition of D. discoideum amoebae movement in a hypertonic sodium chloride solution was fully reversible. Such behaviour corresponds to that of plant, fungi, and some invertebrate animal cells rather than protozoan or vertebrate cells. These observations suggest that studies using D. discoideum as a model for cell motility in vertebrate animal tissue cells should be considered with caution, and would seem to confirm the classification of cellular slime moulds as related rather to Fungi than to Protista. This also shows that the cell membrane models should consider the asymmetry in sodium/potassium ion concentrations found in vertebrate animal cells as one of various possibilities.

  20. Lipid Composition of Multilamellar Bodies Secreted by Dictyostelium discoideum Reveals Their Amoebal Origin

    PubMed Central

    Paquet, Valérie E.; Lessire, René; Domergue, Frédéric; Fouillen, Laetitia; Filion, Geneviève; Sedighi, Ahmadreza

    2013-01-01

    When they are fed with bacteria, Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae produce and secrete multilamellar bodies (MLBs), which are composed of membranous material. It has been proposed that MLBs are a waste disposal system that allows D. discoideum to eliminate undigested bacterial remains. However, the real function of MLBs remains unknown. Determination of the biochemical composition of MLBs, especially lipids, represents a way to gain information about the role of these structures. To allow these analyses, a protocol involving various centrifugation procedures has been developed to purify secreted MLBs from amoeba-bacterium cocultures. The purity of the MLB preparation was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and by immunofluorescence using H36, an antibody that binds to MLBs. The lipid and fatty acid compositions of pure MLBs were then analyzed by high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) and gas chromatography (GC), respectively, and compared to those of amoebae as well as bacteria used as a food source. While the bacteria were devoid of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylinositol (PI), these two polar lipid species were major classes of lipids in MLBs and amoebae. Similarly, the fatty acid composition of MLBs and amoebae was characterized by the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids, while cyclic fatty acids were found only in bacteria. These results strongly suggest that the lipids constituting the MLBs originate from the amoebal metabolism rather than from undigested bacterial membranes. This opens the possibility that MLBs, instead of being a waste disposal system, have unsuspected roles in D. discoideum physiology. PMID:23748431

  1. The Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum Is Highly Resistant to Polyglutamine Aggregation.

    PubMed

    Santarriaga, Stephanie; Petersen, Amber; Ndukwe, Kelechi; Brandt, Anthony; Gerges, Nashaat; Bruns Scaglione, Jamie; Scaglione, Kenneth Matthew

    2015-10-16

    The expression, misfolding, and aggregation of long repetitive amino acid tracts are a major contributing factor in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including C9ORF72 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia, fragile X tremor ataxia syndrome, myotonic dystrophy type 1, spinocerebellar ataxia type 8, and the nine polyglutamine diseases. Protein aggregation is a hallmark of each of these diseases. In model organisms, including yeast, worms, flies, mice, rats, and human cells, expression of proteins with the long repetitive amino acid tracts associated with these diseases recapitulates the protein aggregation that occurs in human disease. Here we show that the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum has evolved to normally encode long polyglutamine tracts and express these proteins in a soluble form. We also show that Dictyostelium has the capacity to suppress aggregation of a polyglutamine-expanded Huntingtin construct that aggregates in other model organisms tested. Together, these data identify Dictyostelium as a novel model organism with the capacity to suppress aggregation of proteins with long polyglutamine tracts.

  2. A non-mitotic CENP-E homolog in Dictyostelium discoideum with slow motor activity.

    PubMed

    Kösem, Süleyman; Ökten, Zeynep; Ho, Thi-Hieu; Trommler, Gudrun; Koonce, Michael P; Samereier, Matthias; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette

    2013-02-15

    Kinesins are ATP-dependent molecular motors that mediate unidirectional intracellular transport along microtubules. Dictyostelium discoideum has 13 different kinesin isoforms including two members of the kinesin-7 family, Kif4 and Kif11. While Kif4 is structurally and functionally related to centromere-associated CENP-E proteins involved in the transport of chromosomes to the poles during mitosis, the function of the unusually short CENP-E variant Kif11 is unclear. Here we show that orthologs of short CENP-E variants are present in plants and fungi, and analyze functional properties of the Dictyostelium CENP-E version, Kif11. Gene knockout mutants reveal that Kif11 is not required for mitosis or development. Imaging of GFP-labeled Kif11 expressing Dictyostelium cells indicates that Kif11 is a plus-end directed motor that accumulates at microtubule plus ends. By multiple motor gliding assays, we show that Kif11 moves with an average velocity of 38nm/s, thus defining Kif11 as a very slow motor. The activity of the Kif11 motor appears to be modulated via interactions with the non-catalytic tail region. Our work highlights a subclass of kinesin-7-like motors that function outside of a role in mitosis.

  3. Dictyostelium discoideum Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinase C Plays a Negative Regulatory Role in Phagocytosis, Macropinocytosis and Exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Annesley, Sarah J.; Bago, Ruzica; Bosnar, Maja Herak; Filic, Vedrana; Marinović, Maja; Weber, Igor; Mehta, Anil; Fisher, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    Nucleoside diphosphate kinases (NDPKs) are ubiquitous phosphotransfer enzymes responsible for producing most of the nucleoside triphosphates except for ATP. This role is important for the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins and the metabolism of sugars and lipids. Apart from this housekeeping role NDPKs have been shown to have many regulatory functions in diverse cellular processes including proliferation and endocytosis. Although the protein has been shown to have a positive regulatory role in clathrin- and dynamin-mediated micropinocytosis, its roles in macropinocytosis and phagocytosis have not been studied. The additional non-housekeeping roles of NDPK are often independent of enzyme activity but dependent on the expression level of the protein. In this study we altered the expression level of NDPK in the model eukaryotic organism Dictyostelium discoideum through antisense inhibition and overexpression. We demonstrate that NDPK levels affect growth, endocytosis and exocytosis. In particular we find that Dictyostelium NDPK negatively regulates endocytosis in contrast to the positive regulatory role identified in higher eukaryotes. This can be explained by the differences in types of endocytosis that have been studied in the different systems - phagocytosis and macropinocytosis in Dictyostelium compared with micropinocytosis in mammalian cells. This is the first report of a role for NDPK in regulating macropinocytosis and phagocytosis, the former being the major fluid phase uptake mechanism for macrophages, dendritic cells and other (non dendritic) cells exposed to growth factors. PMID:21991393

  4. Dictyostelium discoideum nucleoside diphosphate kinase C plays a negative regulatory role in phagocytosis, macropinocytosis and exocytosis.

    PubMed

    Annesley, Sarah J; Bago, Ruzica; Bosnar, Maja Herak; Filic, Vedrana; Marinović, Maja; Weber, Igor; Mehta, Anil; Fisher, Paul R

    2011-01-01

    Nucleoside diphosphate kinases (NDPKs) are ubiquitous phosphotransfer enzymes responsible for producing most of the nucleoside triphosphates except for ATP. This role is important for the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins and the metabolism of sugars and lipids. Apart from this housekeeping role NDPKs have been shown to have many regulatory functions in diverse cellular processes including proliferation and endocytosis. Although the protein has been shown to have a positive regulatory role in clathrin- and dynamin-mediated micropinocytosis, its roles in macropinocytosis and phagocytosis have not been studied. The additional non-housekeeping roles of NDPK are often independent of enzyme activity but dependent on the expression level of the protein. In this study we altered the expression level of NDPK in the model eukaryotic organism Dictyostelium discoideum through antisense inhibition and overexpression. We demonstrate that NDPK levels affect growth, endocytosis and exocytosis. In particular we find that Dictyostelium NDPK negatively regulates endocytosis in contrast to the positive regulatory role identified in higher eukaryotes. This can be explained by the differences in types of endocytosis that have been studied in the different systems - phagocytosis and macropinocytosis in Dictyostelium compared with micropinocytosis in mammalian cells. This is the first report of a role for NDPK in regulating macropinocytosis and phagocytosis, the former being the major fluid phase uptake mechanism for macrophages, dendritic cells and other (non dendritic) cells exposed to growth factors.

  5. A novel human receptor involved in bitter tastant detection identified using Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Robery, Steven; Tyson, Richard; Dinh, Christopher; Kuspa, Adam; Noegel, Angelika A; Bretschneider, Till; Andrews, Paul L R; Williams, Robin S B

    2013-12-01

    Detection of substances tasting bitter to humans occurs in diverse organisms including the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. To establish a molecular mechanism for bitter tastant detection in Dictyostelium, we screened a mutant library for resistance to a commonly used bitter standard, phenylthiourea. This approach identified a G-protein-coupled receptor mutant, grlJ(-), which showed a significantly increased tolerance to phenylthiourea in growth, survival and movement. This mutant was not resistant to a structurally dissimilar potent bitter tastant, denatonium benzoate, suggesting it is not a target for at least one other bitter tastant. Analysis of the cell-signalling pathway involved in the detection of phenylthiourea showed dependence upon heterotrimeric G protein and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity, suggesting that this signalling pathway is responsible for the cellular effects of phenylthiourea. This is further supported by a phenylthiourea-dependent block in the transient cAMP-induced production of phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) in wild-type but not grlJ(-) cells. Finally, we have identified an uncharacterized human protein γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type B receptor subunit 1 isoform with weak homology to GrlJ that restored grlJ(-) sensitivity to phenylthiourea in cell movement and PIP3 regulation. Our results thus identify a novel pathway for the detection of the standard bitter tastant phenylthiourea in Dictyostelium and implicate a poorly characterized human protein in phenylthiourea-dependent cell responses.

  6. Dictyostelium discoideum has a single diacylglycerol kinase gene with similarity to mammalian theta isoforms.

    PubMed Central

    De La Roche, Marc A; Smith, Janet L; Rico, Maribel; Carrasco, Silvia; Merida, Isabel; Licate, Lucila; Côté, Graham P; Egelhoff, Thomas T

    2002-01-01

    Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) phosphorylate the neutral lipid diacylglycerol (DG) to produce phosphatidic acid (PA). In mammalian systems DGKs are a complex family of at least nine isoforms that are thought to participate in down-regulation of DG-based signalling pathways and perhaps activation of PA-stimulated signalling events. We report here that the simple protozoan amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum appears to contain a single gene encoding a DGK enzyme. This gene, dgkA, encodes a deduced protein that contains three C1-type cysteine-rich repeats, a DGK catalytic domain most closely related to the theta subtype of mammalian DGKs and a C-terminal segment containing a proline/glutamine-rich region and a large aspargine-repeat region. This gene corresponds to a previously reported myosin II heavy chain kinase designated myosin heavy chain-protein kinase C (MHC-PKC), but our analysis clearly demonstrates that this protein does not, as suggested by earlier data, contain a protein kinase catalytic domain. A FLAG-tagged version of DgkA expressed in Dictyostelium displayed robust DGK activity. Earlier studies indicating that disruption of this locus alters myosin II assembly levels in Dictyostelium raise the intriguing possibility that DG and/or PA metabolism may play a role in controlling myosin II assembly in this system. PMID:12296770

  7. Mitochondrial tRNA 5′-Editing in Dictyostelium discoideum and Polysphondylium pallidum*

    PubMed Central

    Abad, Maria G.; Long, Yicheng; Kinchen, R. Dimitri; Schindel, Elinor T.; Gray, Michael W.; Jackman, Jane E.

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial tRNA (mt-tRNA) 5′-editing was first described more than 20 years ago; however, the first candidates for 5′-editing enzymes were only recently identified in a eukaryotic microbe (protist), the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. In this organism, eight of 18 mt-tRNAs are predicted to be edited based on the presence of genomically encoded mismatched nucleotides in their aminoacyl-acceptor stem sequences. Here, we demonstrate that mt-tRNA 5′-editing occurs at all predicted sites in D. discoideum as evidenced by changes in the sequences of isolated mt-tRNAs compared with the expected sequences encoded by the mitochondrial genome. We also identify two previously unpredicted editing events in which G-U base pairs are edited in the absence of any other genomically encoded mismatches. A comparison of 5′-editing in D. discoideum with 5′-editing in another slime mold, Polysphondylium pallidum, suggests organism-specific idiosyncrasies in the treatment of U-G/G-U pairs. In vitro activities of putative D. discoideum editing enzymes are consistent with the observed editing reactions and suggest an overall lack of tRNA substrate specificity exhibited by the repair component of the editing enzyme. Although the presence of terminal mismatches in mt-tRNA sequences is highly predictive of the occurrence of mt-tRNA 5′-editing, the variability in treatment of U-G/G-U base pairs observed here indicates that direct experimental evidence of 5′-editing must be obtained to understand the complete spectrum of mt-tRNA editing events in any species. PMID:24737330

  8. The thyroxine inactivating gene, type III deiodinase, suppresses multiple signaling centers in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Singh, Shashi Prakash; Dhakshinamoorthy, Ranjani; Jaiswal, Pundrik; Schmidt, Stefanie; Thewes, Sascha; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2014-12-15

    Thyroxine deiodinases, the enzymes that regulate thyroxine metabolism, are essential for vertebrate growth and development. In the genome of Dictyostelium discoideum, a single intronless gene (dio3) encoding type III thyroxine 5' deiodinase is present. The amino acid sequence of D. discoideum Dio3 shares 37% identity with human T4 deiodinase and is a member of the thioredoxin reductase superfamily. dio3 is expressed throughout growth and development and by generating a knockout of dio3, we have examined the role of thyroxine 5' deiodinase in D. discoideum. dio3(-) had multiple defects that affected growth, timing of development, aggregate size, cell streaming, and cell-type differentiation. A prominent phenotype of dio3(-) was the breaking of late aggregates into small signaling centers, each forming a fruiting body of its own. cAMP levels, its relay, photo- and chemo-taxis were also defective in dio3(-). Quantitative RT-PCR analyses suggested that expression levels of genes encoding adenylyl cyclase A (acaA), cAMP-receptor A (carA) and cAMP-phosphodiesterases were reduced. There was a significant reduction in the expression of CadA and CsaA, which are involved in cell-cell adhesion. The dio3(-) slugs had prestalk identity, with pronounced prestalk marker ecmA expression. Thus, Dio3 seems to have roles in mediating cAMP synthesis/relay, cell-cell adhesion and slug patterning. The phenotype of dio3(-) suggests that Dio3 may prevent the formation of multiple signaling centers during D. discoideum development. This is the first report of a gene involved in thyroxine metabolism that is also involved in growth and development in a lower eukaryote.

  9. NaCS-PDMDAAC immobilized cultivation of recombinant Dictyostelium discoideum for soluble human Fas ligand production.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chao; Zeng, Xianhai; Danquah, Michael K; Lu, Yinghua

    2015-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum is a promising eukaryotic host for the expression of heterologous proteins requiring post-translational modifications. However, the dilute nature of D. discoideum cell culture limits applications for high value proteins production. D. discoideum cells, entrapped in sodium cellulose sulfate/poly-dimethyl-diallyl-ammonium chloride (NaCS-PDMDAAC) capsules were used for biosynthesis of the heterologous protein, soluble human Fas ligand (hFasL). Semi-continuous cultivations with capsules recycling were carried out in shake flasks. Also, a scaled-up cultivation of immobilized D. discoideum for hFasL production in a customized vitreous airlift bioreactor was conducted. The results show that NaCS-PDMDAAC capsules have desirable biophysical properties including biocompatibility with the D. discoideum cells and good mechanical stability throughout the duration of cultivation. A maximum cell density of 2.02 × 10(7) cells mL(-1) (equivalent to a maximum cell density of 2.22 × 10(8) cells mL(-1) in capsules) and a hFasL concentration of 130.40 μg L(-1) (equivalent to a hFasL concentration of 1434.40 μg L(-1) in capsules) were obtained in shake flask cultivation with capsules recycling. Also, a maximum cell density of 1.72 × 10(7) cells mL(-1) (equivalent to a maximum cell density of 1.89 × 10(8) cells mL(-1) in capsules) and a hFasL concentration of 106.10 μg L(-1) (equivalent to a hFasL concentration of 1167.10 μg L(-1) in capsules) were obtained after ∼170 h cultivation in the airlift bioreactor (with a working volume of 200 mL in a 315 mL bioreactor). As the article presents a premier work in the application of NaCS-PDMDAAC immobilized D. discoideum cells for the production of hFasL, more work is required to further optimize the system to generate higher cell densities and hFasL titers for large-scale applications.

  10. Mitochondrial fission and fusion in Dictyostelium discoideum: a search for proteins involved in membrane dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Mitochondrial morphology is maintained by two distinct membrane events -fission and fusion. Altering these conserved processes can disrupt mitochondrial morphology and distribution, thereby disrupting the organelle’s functionality and impeding cellular function. In higher eukaryotes, these processes are mediated by a family of dynamin-related proteins (DRP’s). In the lower eukaryotes, for instance Dictyostelium discoideum, mitochondrial fission and fusion have been implicated but not yet established. To understand the overall mechanism of these dynamics across organisms, we developed an assay to identify fission and fusion events in Dictyostelium and to assess the involvement of the mitochondrial proteins, MidA, CluA, and two DRP’s, DymA and DymB. Findings Using laser scanning confocal microscopy we show, for the first time, that lower eukaryotes mediate mitochondrial fission and fusion. In Dictyostelium, these processes are balanced, occurring approximately 1 event/minute. Quantification of the rates in midA-, cluA-, dymA-, or dymB- strains established that MidA appears to play an indirect role in the regulation of fission and fusion, while the DRP’s are not essential for these processes. Rates of fission and fusion were significantly reduced in cluA-cells, indicating that CluA is necessary for maintaining both fission and fusion. Conclusions We have successfully demonstrated that Dictyostelium mitochondria undergo the dynamic processes of fission and fusion. The classical mediators of membrane dynamics - the DRP’s – are not necessary for these dynamics, whereas CluA is necessary for both processes. This work contributes to our overall understanding of mitochondrial dynamics and ultimately will provide additional insight into mitochondrial disease. PMID:22980139

  11. Expression, purification and crystallization of a dye-decolourizing peroxidase from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Rai, Amrita; Fedorov, Roman; Manstein, Dietmar J

    2014-02-01

    Dye-decolourizing peroxidases are haem-containing peroxidases with broad substrate specificity. Using H2O2 as an electron acceptor, they efficiently decolourize various dyes that are of industrial and environmental relevance, such as anthraquninone- and azo-based dyes. In this study, the dye-decolourizing peroxidase DdDyP from Dictyostelium discoideum was overexpressed in Escherichia coli strain Rosetta(DE3)pLysS, purified and crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method. A native crystal diffracted to 1.65 Å resolution and belonged to space group P4(1)2(1)2, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 141.03, c = 95.56 Å, α = β = γ = 90°. The asymmetric unit contains two molecules.

  12. Origin and Evolution of Circular Waves and Spirals in Dictyostelium discoideum Territories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palsson, Eirikur; Cox, Edward C.

    1996-02-01

    Randomly distributed Dictyostelium discoideum cells form cooperative territories by signaling to each other with cAMP. Cells initiate the process by sending out pulsatile signals, which propagate as waves. With time, circular and spiral patterns form. We show that by adding spatial and temporal noise to the levels of an important regulator of external cAMP levels, the cAMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor, we can explain the natural progression of the system from randomly firing cells to circular waves whose symmetries break to form double- and single- or multi-armed spirals. When phosphodiesterase inhibitor is increased with time, mimicking experimental data, the wavelength of the spirals shortens, and a proportion of them evolve into pairs of connected spirals. We compare these results to recent experiments, finding that the temporal and spatial correspondence between experiment and model is very close.

  13. Functional analysis of a novel gene, DD3-3, from Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Sakuragi, N.; Ogasawara, N.; Tanesaka, E.; Yoshida, M. . E-mail: yoshida_m@nara.kindai.ac.jp

    2005-06-17

    A novel gene, DD3-3, from Dictyostelium discoideum has been isolated by an mRNA differential display between a wild-type strain AX2 and a mutant HG794 which is defective in O-glycosylation. Functional analysis of the novel gene, DD3-3, was conducted by preparing a knockout mutant, DD3-3KO, and a GST:DD3-3 fusion protein. The mutant DD3-3KO cells were allowed to develop about 1.5 h earlier than the wild-type strain AX2 cells. Northern blotting analysis of the knockout mutant cells showed a remarkable downregulation of Reg A, cAMP-dependent phosphodiesterase, and overexpression of protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) during early development and its shutdown during late development. The relationship between O-glycosylation and phosphorylation involving Reg A gene is discussed.

  14. A continuum analysis of the chemotactic signal seen by Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Dallon, J C; Othmer, H G

    1998-10-21

    We developed a mathematical model of cell-to-cell-signalling in Dictyostelium discoideum that predicts the cAMP signal seen by individual cells in early aggregation. The model employs two cells on a plane and is designed to predict the space-time characteristics of both the extracellular cAMP signal seen by one cell when a nearby cell relays, and the intracellular cAMP response produced by the stimulus in the receiving cell. The effect of membrane bound phosphodiesterase is studied and it is shown that cells can orient effectively even in its absence. Our results give a detailed picture of how the spatio-temporal characteristics of the extracellular signal can be transduced into a time- and space-dependent intracellular gradient, and they suggest a plausible mechanism for orientation in a natural chemotactic wave.

  15. Cloning and characterization of the Dictyostelium discoideum rasG genomic sequences.

    PubMed

    Robbins, S M; Williams, J G; Spiegelman, G B; Weeks, G

    1992-02-28

    A Dictyostelium discoideum genomic DNA clone containing the ras-related gene, rasG was isolated using the rasG cDNA as a probe. The genomic clone encompasses the entire coding region of the gene and 1.5 kb of 5' flanking region. The rasG gene contains a single intron as determined by sequence comparison with the cDNA, whereas the highly related rasD gene contains three introns. Primer extension analysis showed that transcription of the rasG gene initiates at multiple sites. Sequence analysis of the 5' flanking region of the gene revealed a stretch of thymine residues upstream from the transcription start sites but there is no evidence for a TATA box sequence.

  16. On induction of cell differentiation by cyclic AMP pulses in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Wurster, B

    1982-01-01

    Repeated pulses of cyclic AMP, applied at intervals of 5 min, efficiently induced differentiation in cells of agip 53, a morphogenetic mutant of Dictyostelium discoideum, strain Ax-2. In contrast, pulses applied at intervals of 2 min did not induce cell differentiation. To analyze this phenomenon the hydrolysis of cyclic AMP between the pulses as well as the effect of the pulses on the intracellular concentrations of cyclic GMP were investigated. Experiments performed in the presence of added cyclic AMP was not the reason of the inefficiency of the pulses applied with a 2-min rhythm. Cyclic AMP pulses applied at intervals of 2 min induced discrete increases of the cyclic GMP concentration. Limited time resolution at the level of cyclic GMP cannot account for the inefficiency of the 2-min pulses.

  17. Mitochondrial Stress Tests Using Seahorse Respirometry on Intact Dictyostelium discoideum Cells.

    PubMed

    Lay, Sui; Sanislav, Oana; Annesley, Sarah J; Fisher, Paul R

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria not only play a critical and central role in providing metabolic energy to the cell but are also integral to the other cellular processes such as modulation of various signaling pathways. These pathways affect many aspects of cell physiology, including cell movement, growth, division, differentiation, and death. Mitochondrial dysfunction which affects mitochondrial bioenergetics and causes oxidative phosphorylation defects can thus lead to altered cellular physiology and manifest in disease. The assessment of the mitochondrial bioenergetics can thus provide valuable insights into the physiological state, and the alterations to the state of the cells. Here, we describe a method to successfully use the Seahorse XF(e)24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer to assess the mitochondrial respirometry of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

  18. Shear flow-induced detachment kinetics of Dictyostelium discoideum cells from solid substrate.

    PubMed Central

    Décavé, Emmanuel; Garrivier, Daniel; Bréchet, Yves; Fourcade, Bertrand; Bruckert, Franz

    2002-01-01

    Using Dictyostelium discoideum as a model organism of specific and nonspecific adhesion, we studied the kinetics of shear flow-induced cell detachment. For a given cell, detachment occurs for values of the applied hydrodynamic stress above a threshold. Cells are removed from the substrate with an apparent first-order rate constant that strongly depends on the applied stress. The threshold stress depends on cell size and physicochemical properties of the substrate, but is not affected by depolymerization of the actin and tubulin cytoskeleton. In contrast, the kinetics of cell detachment is almost independent of cell size, but is strongly affected by a modification of the substrate and the presence of an intact actin cytoskeleton. These results are interpreted in the framework of a peeling model. The threshold stress and the cell-detachment rate measure the local equilibrium energy and the dissociation rate constant of the adhesion bridges, respectively. PMID:11964228

  19. Flow-driven two-dimensional waves in colonies of Dictyostelium discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholami, A.; Zykov, V.; Steinbock, O.; Bodenschatz, E.

    2015-09-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum (D.d.) is a valuable model organism to study self-organization and pattern formation in biology. Recently we reported flow-driven waves in experiments with uniformly distributed populations of signaling amobae, D.d., and carried out a theoretical study in a one-dimensional model. In this work, we perform two-dimensional numerical simulations using the well-known Martiel-Golbeter model to study the effect of the flow profile and intrinsic noise on the flow-driven waves. We show that, in the presence of flow, a persistence noise due to spontaneous cell firing events can lead to sustained structures that fill the whole length of the system. We also show that external periodic stimuli of cyclic adenosine monophosphate can induce 1:1 and 2:1 entrainments which are in agreement with our experimental observations.

  20. Cyclic AMP stabilizes a class of developmentally regulated Dictyostelium discoideum mRNAs.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G; Ceccarelli, A; Lodish, H F

    The stability of mRNA is an important facet of the regulation of protein synthesis. In mammalian cells most mRNAs have long half-lives (5-15 hours) but a substantial fraction are much less stable. There are few examples where the stability of a particular mRNA or class of mRNAs is specifically affected by environmental or developmental stimuli. Certain hormones cause specific stabilization of mRNAs species and preferential mRNA stability is important in the accumulation of globin and myosin mRNAs during the terminal stages of erythropoesis or myogenesis, respectively. Disaggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum aggregates induces the specific destabilization of a large class of developmentally regulated mRNAs; thus, this system is an excellent one in which to determine how such controls are effected. Here we show that addition of cyclic AMP to disaggregated cells specifically prevents the destabilization of these mRNAs.

  1. Specific mRNA destabilization in Dictyostelium discoideum requires RNA synthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Amara, J F; Lodish, H F

    1987-01-01

    We tested the effects of inhibitors of protein and RNA synthesis on the disaggregation-mediated destabilization of prespore mRNAs in Dictyostelium discoideum. Incubating disaggregated cells with daunomycin to inhibit RNA synthesis prevented the loss of prespore mRNAs, whereas the inhibitor decreased or did not affect levels of the common mRNAs CZ22 and actin. Protein synthesis inhibitors varied in their effects. Cycloheximide, which inhibited protein synthesis almost completely, prevented the loss of the prespore mRNAs, but puromycin, which inhibited protein synthesis less well, did not. These results indicate that the process of specific mRNA destabilization requires the synthesis of RNA and possibly of protein. Images PMID:3437899

  2. rRNA maturation as a "quality" control step in ribosomal subunit assembly in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G; Chiaberge, S; Bulfone, S

    1997-10-31

    In Dictyostelium discoideum, newly assembled ribosomal subunits enter polyribosomes while they still contain immature rRNA. rRNA maturation requires the engagement of the subunits in protein synthesis and leads to stabilization of their structure. Maturation of pre-17 S rRNA occurs only after the newly formed 40 S ribosomal particle has entered an 80 S ribosome and participated at least in the formation of one peptide bond or in one translocation event; maturation of pre-26 S rRNA requires the presence on the 80 S particle of a peptidyl-tRNA containing at least 6 amino acids. Newly assembled particles that cannot fulfill these requirements for structural reasons are disassembled into free immature rRNA and ribosomal proteins.

  3. The Dictyostelium discoideum RACK1 orthologue has roles in growth and development

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The receptor for activated C-kinase 1 (RACK1) is a conserved protein belonging to the WD40 repeat family of proteins. It folds into a beta propeller with seven blades which allow interactions with many proteins. Thus it can serve as a scaffolding protein and have roles in several cellular processes. Results We identified the product of the Dictyostelium discoideum gpbB gene as the Dictyostelium RACK1 homolog. The protein is mainly cytosolic but can also associate with cellular membranes. DdRACK1 binds to phosphoinositides (PIPs) in protein-lipid overlay and liposome-binding assays. The basis of this activity resides in a basic region located in the extended loop between blades 6 and 7 as revealed by mutational analysis. Similar to RACK1 proteins from other organisms DdRACK1 interacts with G protein subunits alpha, beta and gamma as shown by yeast two-hybrid, pulldown, and immunoprecipitation assays. Unlike the Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Cryptococcus neoformans RACK1 proteins it does not appear to take over Gβ function in D. discoideum as developmental and other defects were not rescued in Gβ null mutants overexpressing GFP-DdRACK1. Overexpression of GFP-tagged DdRACK1 and a mutant version (DdRACK1mut) which carried a charge-reversal mutation in the basic region in wild type cells led to changes during growth and development. Conclusion DdRACK1 interacts with heterotrimeric G proteins and can through these interactions impact on processes specifically regulated by these proteins. PMID:24930026

  4. The Dictyostelium discoideum RACK1 orthologue has roles in growth and development.

    PubMed

    Omosigho, Napoleon Nosa; Swaminathan, Karthic; Plomann, Markus; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Noegel, Angelika A; Riyahi, Tanja Y

    2014-06-15

    The receptor for activated C-kinase 1 (RACK1) is a conserved protein belonging to the WD40 repeat family of proteins. It folds into a beta propeller with seven blades which allow interactions with many proteins. Thus it can serve as a scaffolding protein and have roles in several cellular processes. We identified the product of the Dictyostelium discoideum gpbB gene as the Dictyostelium RACK1 homolog. The protein is mainly cytosolic but can also associate with cellular membranes. DdRACK1 binds to phosphoinositides (PIPs) in protein-lipid overlay and liposome-binding assays. The basis of this activity resides in a basic region located in the extended loop between blades 6 and 7 as revealed by mutational analysis. Similar to RACK1 proteins from other organisms DdRACK1 interacts with G protein subunits alpha, beta and gamma as shown by yeast two-hybrid, pulldown, and immunoprecipitation assays. Unlike the Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Cryptococcus neoformans RACK1 proteins it does not appear to take over Gβ function in D. discoideum as developmental and other defects were not rescued in Gβ null mutants overexpressing GFP-DdRACK1. Overexpression of GFP-tagged DdRACK1 and a mutant version (DdRACK1mut) which carried a charge-reversal mutation in the basic region in wild type cells led to changes during growth and development. DdRACK1 interacts with heterotrimeric G proteins and can through these interactions impact on processes specifically regulated by these proteins.

  5. Nucleocytoplasmic protein translocation during mitosis in the social amoebozoan Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    O'Day, Danton H; Budniak, Aldona

    2015-02-01

    Mitosis is a fundamental and essential life process. It underlies the duplication and survival of all cells and, as a result, all eukaryotic organisms. Since uncontrolled mitosis is a dreaded component of many cancers, a full understanding of the process is critical. Evolution has led to the existence of three types of mitosis: closed, open, and semi-open. The significance of these different mitotic species, how they can lead to a full understanding of the critical events that underlie the asexual duplication of all cells, and how they may generate new insights into controlling unregulated cell division remains to be determined. The eukaryotic microbe Dictyostelium discoideum has proved to be a valuable biomedical model organism. While it appears to utilize closed mitosis, a review of the literature suggests that it possesses a form of mitosis that lies in the middle between truly open and fully closed mitosis-it utilizes a form of semi-open mitosis. Here, the nucleocytoplasmic translocation patterns of the proteins that have been studied during mitosis in the social amoebozoan D. discoideum are detailed followed by a discussion of how some of them provide support for the hypothesis of semi-open mitosis.

  6. The P450 oxidoreductase, RedA, controls development beyond the mound stage in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Kristeller, Daniela C; Farage, Layla; Fiorini, Leonardo C; Loomis, William F; da Silva, Aline M

    2008-01-24

    NADPH-cytochrome-P450 oxidoreductase (CPR) is a ubiquitous enzyme that belongs to a family of diflavin oxidoreductases and is required for activity of the microsomal cytochrome-P450 monooxygenase system. CPR gene-disruption experiments have demonstrated that absence of this enzyme causes developmental defects both in mouse and insect. Annotation of the sequenced genome of D. discoideum revealed the presence of three genes (redA, redB and redC) that encode putative members of the diflavin oxidoreductase protein family. redA transcripts are present during growth and early development but then decline, reaching undetectable levels after the mound stage. redB transcripts are present in the same levels during growth and development while redC expression was detected only in vegetative growing cells. We isolated a mutant strain of Dictyostelium discoideum following restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) mutagenesis in which redA was disrupted. This mutant develops only to the mound stage and accumulates a bright yellow pigment. The mound-arrest phenotype is cell-autonomous suggesting that the defect occurs within the cells rather than in intercellular signaling. The developmental arrest due to disruption of redA implicates CPR in the metabolism of compounds that control cell differentiation.

  7. Effects of Nickel, Chlorpyrifos and Their Mixture on the Dictyostelium discoideum Proteome

    PubMed Central

    Boatti, Lara; Robotti, Elisa; Marengo, Emilio; Viarengo, Aldo; Marsano, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    Mixtures of chemicals can have additive, synergistic or antagonistic interactions. We investigated the effects of the exposure to nickel, the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos at effect concentrations (EC) of 25% and 50% and their binary mixture (Ec25 + EC25) on Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae based on lysosomal membrane stability (LMS). We treated D. discoideum with these compounds under controlled laboratory conditions and evaluated the changes in protein levels using a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) proteomic approach. Nickel treatment at EC25 induced changes in 14 protein spots, 12 of which were down-regulated. Treatment with nickel at EC50 resulted in changes in 15 spots, 10 of which were down-regulated. Treatment with chlorpyrifos at EC25 induced changes in six spots, all of which were down-regulated; treatment with chlorpyrifos at EC50 induced changes in 13 spots, five of which were down-regulated. The mixture corresponding to EC25 of each compound induced changes in 19 spots, 13 of which were down-regulated. The data together reveal that a different protein expression signature exists for each treatment, and that only a few proteins are modulated in multiple different treatments. For a simple binary mixture, the proteomic response does not allow for the identification of each toxicant. The protein spots that showed significant differences were identified by mass spectrometry, which revealed modulations of proteins involved in metal detoxification, stress adaptation, the oxidative stress response and other cellular processes. PMID:23443088

  8. Fruiting bodies of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum increase spore transport by Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Many microbial phenotypes are the product of cooperative interactions among cells, but their putative fitness benefits are often not well understood. In the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, unicellular amoebae aggregate when starved and form multicellular fruiting bodies in which stress-resistant spores are held aloft by dead stalk cells. Fruiting bodies are thought to be adaptations for dispersing spores to new feeding sites, but this has not been directly tested. Here we experimentally test whether fruiting bodies increase the rate at which spores are acquired by passing invertebrates. Results Drosophila melanogaster accumulate spores on their surfaces more quickly when exposed to intact fruiting bodies than when exposed to fruiting bodies physically disrupted to dislodge spore masses from stalks. Flies also ingest and excrete spores that still express a red fluorescent protein marker. Conclusions Multicellular fruiting bodies created by D. discoideum increase the likelihood that invertebrates acquire spores that can then be transported to new feeding sites. These results thus support the long-hypothesized dispersal benefits of altruism in a model system for microbial cooperation. PMID:24884856

  9. Self-organized, near-critical behavior during aggregation in Dictyostelium discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Palo, Giovanna; Yi, Darvin; Gregor, Thomas; Endres, Robert

    During starvation, the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum aggregates artfully via pattern formation into a multicellular slug and finally spores. The aggregation process is mediated by the secretion and sensing of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, leading to the synchronized movement of cells. The whole process is a remarkable example of collective behavior, spontaneously emerging from single-cell chemotaxis. Despite this phenomenon being broadly studied, a precise characterization of the transition from single cells to multicellularity has been elusive. Here, using fluorescence imaging data of thousands of cells, we investigate the role of cell shape in aggregation, demonstrating remarkable transitions in cell behavior. To better understand their functional role, we analyze cell-cell correlations and provide evidence for self-organization at the onset of aggregation (as opposed to leader cells), with features of criticality in this finite system. To capture the mechanism of self-organization, we extend a detailed single-cell model of D.discoideum chemotaxis by adding cell-cell communication. We then use these results to extract a minimal set of rules leading to aggregation in the population model. If universal, similar rules may explain other types of collective cell behavior.

  10. Guanosine metabolism and regulation of fruiting body construction in dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Cohen, A; Sussman, M

    1975-11-01

    A cell aggregate of Dictyostelium discoideum either constructs a fruiting body directly or transforms into a migrating slug and fruits later on in some other locale. In the presence of formycin B, an inosine analog, and in an environment that otherwise favors fruiting, aggregates having reached a relatively late (17 hr) stage of fruit construction abandon that program and transform into migrating slugs. They then revert to the fruiting mode and construct normal fruiting bodies without further interference [Brackenbury et al. (1974) J. Mol. Biol. 90, 529-539]. The data presented here suggest that formycin B exerts its morphogenetic effect by interfering competitively with the metabolism of guanosine. Thus: see article. The recovery from formycin B is thought to result from the ensuing accumulation of guanosine and reversal of the inhibition. In support of this are the following: (1) Formycin B does cause, in vivo, an accumulation of guanosine. Exogenoug guanosine reverses the effect of formycin B, depending on their relative concentrations. (2) Guanosine is phosphorylitically cleaved to guanine and ribose-1-P by purine ribonucleoside phosphorylase (purine-nucleoside:orthophosphate ribosyl transferase, EC 2.4.2.1), present in D. discoideum extracts, and formycin B is a competitive inhibitor or this reaction with a very high affinity for the enzyme. (3) Four other analogs, also competitive inhibitors of this enzyme, produce precisely the same morphogenetic deviation. The concentrations required are consistent with the relative K1 values.

  11. Separate nuclear genes encode cytosolic and mitochondrial nucleoside diphosphate kinase in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Troll, H; Winckler, T; Lascu, I; Müller, N; Saurin, W; Véron, M; Mutzel, R

    1993-12-05

    We have previously isolated cDNA clones for the gip17 gene encoding the cytosolic nucleoside diphosphate (NDP) kinase from Dictyostelium discoideum, and partial cDNAs for guk, a second member of the NDP kinase gene family (Wallet, V., Mutzel, R., Troll, H., Barzu, O., Wurster, B., Véron, M., and Lacombe, M. L. (1990) J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 80, 1199-1202). We now characterize genomic DNA clones for both NDP kinase genes, and we show that guk defines a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial NDP kinase. Isolated D. discoideum mitochondria contain 3% of the total cellular NDP kinase activity. Antibodies which specifically recognize and inhibit the activity of either cytosolic or mitochondrial NDP kinase unambiguously distinguish between these activities. The nascent mitochondrial NDP kinase contains a presequence of 57 amino acids that is removed during import into the organelle as shown by determination of the NH2 terminus of the mature protein from mitochondria. The genes for mitochondrial and cytosolic NDP kinases contain four and two introns, respectively. The positions of the of the introns in the gene for the cytosolic enzyme match exactly the positions of the second and fourth introns in the coding region of its mitochondrial homologue. From these results we conclude that the isozymes diverged from a common ancestor, and we discuss possible phylogenetic pathways for the evolution of cytosolic and organelle NDP kinases.

  12. A model for individual and collective cell movement in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Palsson, Eirikur; Othmer, Hans G.

    2000-01-01

    The cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum is a widely used model system for studying a variety of basic processes in development, including cell–cell signaling, signal transduction, pattern formation, cell motility, and the movement of tissue-like aggregates of cells. Many aspects of cell motion are poorly understood, including how individual cell behavior produces the collective motion of cells observed within the mound and slug. Herein, we describe a biologically realistic model for motile D. discoideum cells that can generate active forces, that interact via surface molecules, and that can detect and respond to chemotactic signals. We model the cells as deformable viscoelastic ellipsoids and incorporate signal transduction and cell–cell signaling by using a previously developed model. The shape constraint restricts the admissible deformations but makes the simulation of a large number of interacting cells feasible. Because the model is based on known processes, the parameters can be estimated or measured experimentally. We show that this model can reproduce the observations on the chemotactic behavior of single cells, streaming during aggregation, and the collective motion of an aggregate of cells driven by a small group of pacemakers. The model predicts that the motion of two-dimensional slugs [Bonner, J. T. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95, 9355–9359] results from the same behaviors that are exhibited by individual cells; it is not necessary to invoke different mechanisms or behaviors. Our computational experiments also suggest previously uncharacterized phenomena that may be experimentally observable. PMID:10984537

  13. Acidocalcisomes are functionally linked to the contractile vacuole of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Marchesini, Norma; Ruiz, Felix A; Vieira, Mauricio; Docampo, Roberto

    2002-03-08

    The mass-dense granules of Dictyostelium discoideum were shown to contain large amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, as determined by x-ray microanalysis, either in situ or when purified using iodixanol gradient centrifugation. The high phosphorus content was due to the presence of pyrophosphate and polyphosphate, which were also present in the contractile vacuoles. Both organelles also possessed a vacuolar H(+)-ATPase, an H(+)-pyrophosphatase, and a Ca(2+)-ATPase, as determined by biochemical methods or by immunofluorescence microscopy. The H(+)-pyrophosphatase activity of isolated mass-dense granules was stimulated by potassium ions and inhibited by the pyrophosphate analogs aminomethylenediphosphonate and imidodiphosphate and by KF and N-ethylmaleimide in a dose-dependent manner. The mass-dense granules and the contractile vacuole appeared to contact each other when the cells were submitted to hyposmotic stress. Acetazolamide inhibited the carbonic anhydrase activity of the contractile vacuoles and prolonged their contraction cycle in a dose-dependent manner. Similar effects were observed with the anion exchanger inhibitor 4,4' -diisothiocyanatodihydrostilbene-2, 2' -disulfonic acid and the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin A(1). Together, these results suggest that the mass-dense granules of D. discoideum are homologous to the acidocalcisomes described in protozoan parasites and are linked to the function of the contractile vacuole.

  14. Effects of a 50 Hz magnetic field on Dictyostelium discoideum (Protista).

    PubMed

    Amaroli, Andrea; Trielli, Francesca; Bianco, Bruno; Giordano, Stefano; Moggia, Elsa; Corrado, Maria Umberta Delmonte

    2006-10-01

    Some studies have demonstrated that a few biological systems are affected by weak, extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs), lower than 10 mT. However, to date there is scanty evidence of this effect on Protists in the literature. Due to their peculiarity as single-cell eukaryotic organisms, Protists respond directly to environmental stimuli, thus appearing as very suitable experimental systems. Recently, we showed the presence of propionylcholinesterase (PrChE) activity in single-cell amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum. This enzyme activity was assumed to be involved in cell-cell and cell-environment interactions, as its inhibition affects cell aggregation and differentiation. In this work, we have exposed single-cell amoebae of D. discoideum to an ELF-EMF of about 200 microT, 50 Hz, for 3 h or 24 h at 21 degrees C. A delay in the early phase of the differentiation was observed in 3 h exposed cells, and a significant decrease in the fission rate appeared in 24 h exposed cells. The PrChE activity was significantly lower in 3 h exposed cells than in the controls, whereas 24 h exposed cells exhibited an increase in this enzyme activity. However, such effects appeared to be transient, as the fission rate and PrChE activity values returned to the respective control values after a 24 h stay under standard conditions.

  15. Sentinel cells, symbiotic bacteria and toxin resistance in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Brock, Debra A; Callison, W Éamon; Strassmann, Joan E; Queller, David C

    2016-04-27

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is unusual among eukaryotes in having both unicellular and multicellular stages. In the multicellular stage, some cells, called sentinels, ingest toxins, waste and bacteria. The sentinel cells ultimately fall away from the back of the migrating slug, thus removing these substances from the slug. However, some D. discoideum clones (called farmers) carry commensal bacteria through the multicellular stage, while others (called non-farmers) do not. Farmers profit from their beneficial bacteria. To prevent the loss of these bacteria, we hypothesize that sentinel cell numbers may be reduced in farmers, and thus farmers may have a diminished capacity to respond to pathogenic bacteria or toxins. In support, we found that farmers have fewer sentinel cells compared with non-farmers. However, farmers produced no fewer viable spores when challenged with a toxin. These results are consistent with the beneficial bacteria Burkholderia providing protection against toxins. The farmers did not vary in spore production with and without a toxin challenge the way the non-farmers did, which suggests the costs of Burkholderia may be fixed while sentinel cells may be inducible. Therefore, the costs for non-farmers are only paid in the presence of the toxin. When the farmers were cured of their symbiotic bacteria with antibiotics, they behaved just like non-farmers in response to a toxin challenge. Thus, the advantages farmers gain from carrying bacteria include not just food and protection against competitors, but also protection against toxins. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Thirteen is enough: the myosins of Dictyostelium discoideum and their light chains

    PubMed Central

    Kollmar, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Background Dictyostelium discoideum is one of the most famous model organisms for studying motile processes like cell movement, organelle transport, cytokinesis, and endocytosis. Members of the myosin superfamily, that move on actin filaments and power many of these tasks, are tripartite proteins consisting of a conserved catalytic domain followed by the neck region consisting of a different number of so-called IQ motifs for binding of light chains. The tails contain functional motifs that are responsible for the accomplishment of the different tasks in the cell. Unicellular organisms like yeasts contain three to five myosins while vertebrates express over 40 different myosin genes. Recently, the question has been raised how many myosins a simple multicellular organism like Dictyostelium would need to accomplish all the different motility-related tasks. Results The analysis of the Dictyostelium genome revealed thirteen myosins of which three have not been described before. The phylogenetic analysis of the motor domains of the new myosins placed Myo1F to the class-I myosins and Myo5A to the class-V myosins. The third new myosin, an orphan myosin, has been named MyoG. It contains an N-terminal extension of over 400 residues, and a tail consisting of four IQ motifs and two MyTH4/FERM (myosin tail homology 4/band 4.1, ezrin, radixin, and moesin) tandem domains that are separated by a long region containing an SH3 (src homology 3) domain. In contrast to previous analyses, an extensive comparison with 126 class-VII, class-X, class-XV, and class-XXII myosins now showed that MyoI does not group into any of these classes and should not be used as a model for class-VII myosins. The search for calmodulin related proteins revealed two further potential myosin light chains. One is a close homolog of the two EF-hand motifs containing MlcB, and the other, CBP14, phylogenetically groups to the ELC/RLC/calmodulin (essential light chain/regulatory light chain) branch of the tree

  17. Mechanism of oligomerisation of cyclase-associated protein from Dictyostelium discoideum in solution.

    PubMed

    Yusof, Adlina Mohd; Jaenicke, Elmar; Pedersen, Jan Skov; Noegel, Angelika A; Schleicher, Michael; Hofmann, Andreas

    2006-10-06

    Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) is a highly conserved modular protein implicated in the regulation of actin filament dynamics and a variety of developmental and morphological processes. The protein exists as a high molecular weight complex in cell extracts and purified protein possesses a high tendency to aggregate, a major obstacle for crystallisation. Using a mutagenesis approach, we show that two structural features underlie the mechanism of oligomerisation in Dictyostelium discoideum CAP. Positively charged clusters on the surface of the N-terminal helix-barrel domain are involved in inter-molecular interactions with the N or C-terminal domains. Abolishing these interactions mainly renders dimers due to a domain swap feature in the extreme C-terminal region of the protein that was previously described. Based on earlier studies with yeast CAP, we also generated constructs with mutations in the extreme N-terminal region of Dictyostelium CAP that did not show significantly altered oligomerisation behaviour. Constructs with mutations in the earlier identified protein-protein interaction interface on the N-terminal domain of CAP could not be expressed as soluble protein. Assessment of the soluble proteins indicates that the mutations did not affect their overall fold. Further studies point to the correlation between stability of full-length CAP with its multimerisation behaviour, where oligomer formation leads to a more stable protein.

  18. Dictyostelium discoideum gene family contains a long internal amino acid repeat.

    PubMed

    Ennis, H L; Giorda, R; Ohmachi, T; Shaw, D R; Blume, J E

    1991-01-01

    Two different cDNA clones denoted pTO270-6 and pTO270-11 represent two mRNAs that are developmentally regulated during spore germination in Dictyostelium discoideum. The respective mRNAs are found only during early germination and are not present in other stages of growth or multicellular development. Four different genomic clones that hybridize to sequences that are common to both of the 270 cDNA clones were isolated from Dictyostelium libraries and sequenced. Two are the genes for the two cDNAs, and the other two represent genes that do not seem to be transcribed. All four genomic sequences possess a very unusual internal feature in the deduced protein sequences composed of a monotonous repeat of the tetrapeptide threonine-glutamic acid-threonine-proline. The other portions of the proteins have no homology among themselves. The deduced protein corresponding to the 270-6 gene is very similar to avocado (Persea americana) cellulase. Since cellulose in the spore wall has to be digested during spore germination this suggests that this protein may function as an endo-(1,4)-beta-D-glucanase during germination.

  19. A Dictyostelium discoideum cellulase is a member of a spore germination-specific gene family.

    PubMed

    Blume, J E; Ennis, H L

    1991-08-15

    A member of the 270 spore germination-specific gene family in Dictyostelium discoideum is shown to encode a cellulase (endo-(1,4)-beta-D-glucanase, EC 3.2.1.4) activity. The 270-6 deduced protein shows 38% identity and 58% similarity to an avocado (Persea americana) cellulase. During spore germination in Dictyostelium extracellular cellulase activity starts to accumulate coincident with the appearance of the 270-6 gene transcript. Amoebae transformed by a vector containing the 270-6 mRNA sequence express an extracellular cellulase during vegetative growth when there would otherwise be no cellulase activity. In addition, the expression of a truncated 270-6 polypeptide lacking the 270 gene family-defining tetrapeptide repeat and the C-terminal region, in suitably transformed amoebae, also produces an extracellular cellulase activity. Several differently sized cellulase activities are shown to accumulate during spore germination, and it is possible that the 270 gene family represents a coordinately expressed family of cellulases.

  20. Caspase-like proteins: Acanthamoeba castellanii metacaspase and Dictyostelium discoideum paracaspase, what are their functions?

    PubMed

    Saheb, Entsar; Trzyna, Wendy; Bush, John

    2014-12-01

    Caspases are cysteine proteases that are important regulators of programmed cell death in animals. Two novel relatives to members of the caspase families metacaspases and paracaspase have been discovered. Metacaspase type-1 was identified in Acanthamoeba castellanii, an opportunistic protozoan parasite that causes severe diseases in humans. Paracaspase was found in the non-pathogenic protozoan Dictyostelium discoideum. Since their discovery in Acanthamoeba and Dictyostelium, metacaspases and paracaspases have remained poorly characterized. At present we do not have sufficient data about the molecular function of these caspase-like proteins or their role, if any, in programmed cell death. How these caspase proteins function at the molecular level is an important area of study that will provide insight into their potential for treatment therapies against Acanthamoeba infection and other similar parasitic protozoan. Additionally, finding the molecular functions of these caspase-like proteins will provide information concerning their role in more complex organisms.The aim of this article was to review recent discoveries about metacaspases and paracaspases as regulators of apoptotic and non-apoptotic processes.

  1. Dictyostelium discoideum Ax2 as an Assay System for Screening of Pharmacological Chaperones for Phenylketonuria Mutations.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yu-Min; Yang, Yun Gyeong; Kim, Hye-Lim; Park, Young Shik

    2015-06-01

    In this study, we developed an assay system for missense mutations in human phenylalanine hydroxylases (hPAHs). To demonstrate the reliability of the system, eight mutant proteins (F39L, K42I, L48S, I65T, R252Q, L255V, S349L, and R408W) were expressed in a mutant strain (pah(-)) of Dictyostelium discoideum Ax2 disrupted in the indigenous gene encoding PAH. The transformed pah- cells grown in FM minimal medium were measured for growth rate and PAH activity to reveal a positive correlation between them. The protein level of hPAH was also determined by western blotting to show the impact of each mutation on protein stability and catalytic activity. The result was highly compatible with the previous ones obtained from other expression systems, suggesting that Dictyostelium is a dependable alternative to other expression systems. Furthermore, we found that both the protein level and activity of S349L and R408W, which were impaired severely in protein stability, were rescued in HL5 nutrient medium. Although the responsible component(s) remains unidentified, this unexpected finding showed an important advantage of our expression system for studying unstable proteins. As an economic and stable cell-based expression system, our development will contribute to mass-screening of pharmacological chaperones for missense PAH mutations as well as to the in-depth characterization of individual mutations.

  2. Aberrant spindle dynamics and cytokinesis in Dictyostelium discoideum cells that lack glycogen synthase kinase 3.

    PubMed

    Harwood, Adrian J; Forde-Thomas, Josephine E; Williams, Hazel; Samereier, Matthias; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic cell division requires the co-ordinated assembly and disassembly of the mitotic spindle, accurate chromosome segregation and temporal control of cytokinesis to generate two daughter cells. While the absolute details of these processes differ between organisms, there are evolutionarily conserved core components common to all eukaryotic cells, whose identification will reveal the key processes that control cell division. Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is a major protein kinase found throughout the eukaryotes and regulates many processes, including cell differentiation, growth, motility and apoptosis. In animals, GSK-3 associates with mitotic spindles and its inhibition causes mis-regulation of chromosome segregation. Two suppressor screens in yeast point to a more general effect of GSK-3 on cell division, however the direct role of GSK-3 in control of mitosis has not been explored outside the animal kingdom. Here we report that the Dictyostelium discoideum GSK-3 orthologue, GskA, associates with the mitotic spindle during cell division, as seen for its mammalian counterparts. Dictyostelium possesses only a single GSK-3 gene that can be deleted to eliminate all GSK-3 activity. We found that gskA-null mutants failed to elongate their mitotic spindle and were unable to divide in shaking culture, but have no chromosome segregation defect. These results suggest further conservation for the role of GSK-3 in the regulation of spindle dynamics during mitosis, but also reveal differences in the mechanisms ensuring accurate chromosome segregation.

  3. Spatiotemporal response of living cell structures in Dictyostelium discoideum with semiconductor quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Helmick, Lam; Antúnez de Mayolo, Adriana; Zhang, Ying; Cheng, Chao-Min; Watkins, Simon C; Wu, Chuanyue; LeDuc, Philip R

    2008-05-01

    The ability to monitor the spatial and temporal organization of molecules such as biopolymers within a cell is essential to enable the ability to understand the complexity and dynamics existing in biological processes. However, many limitations currently exist in specifically labeling proteins in living cells. In our study, we incorporate nanometer-sized semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) into living cells for spatiotemporal protein imaging of actin polymers in Dictyostelium discoideum without the necessity of using complicating transmembrane transport approaches. We first demonstrate cytoplasmic distribution of QDs within these living amoebae cells and then show molecular targeting through actin filament labeling. Also, we have developed a microfluidic system to control and visualize the spatiotemporal response of the cellular environment during cell motility, which allows us to demonstrate specific localization control of the QD-protein complexes in living cells. This study provides a valuable tool for the specific targeting and analysis of proteins within Dictyostelium without the encumbrance of transmembrane assisted methods, which has implication in fields including polymer physics, material science, engineering, and biology.

  4. Selection and analysis of cloned developmentally-regulated Dictyostelium discoideum genes by hybridization-competition.

    PubMed Central

    Mangiarotti, G; Chung, S; Zuker, C; Lodish, H F

    1981-01-01

    We describe a new technique for selection of cloned gene segments which are expressed preferentially at one developmental stage but at a relatively low level. A nitrocellulose filter replica of plaques of lambda phage which contain approximately 8 KB inserts of genomic DNA is prepared; it is hybridized with a small amount of [32p] labeled mRNA prepared from one developmental stage, in the presence of a several-hundred fold excess of competitor RNA from a different stage. We show that clones of Dictyostelium nuclear DNA which form hybrids under these conditions indeed encode developmentally regulated mRNAs. Our previous analysis of Dictyostelium discoideum differentiation indicated that transcripts from about 12% of the genome appear in mRNA at one defined stage of differentiation - the formation of cell-cell aggregates. A number of our new clones are novel, in that they encode multiple discrete mRNA species all of which accumulate only at the cell aggregate stages; others encode one or more mRNAs which appear at the tight aggregate stage and also one or more which are present throughout differentiation. These latter clones, in particular, would be difficult to identify using other selection techniques. Images PMID:7232208

  5. Primary structure and regulation of vegetative specific genes of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Singleton, C K; Manning, S S; Ken, R

    1989-01-01

    We have examined the expression and structure of several genes belonging to two classes of vegetative specific genes of the simple eukaryote, Dictyostelium discoideum. In amebae grown on bacteria, deactivation of all vegetative specific genes occurred at the onset of development and very little mRNA exists by 8 to 10 hours. In contrast, when cells were grown in axenic broth, the mRNA levels remained constant until a dramatic drop occurred around 10 to 12 hours. Thus, regulation of both classes of genes during the first several hours of development is dependent upon the prior growth conditions. Analysis of genomic clones has resulted in the identification of two V genes, V1 and V18, as ribosomal protein genes. Several other V genes were not found to be ribosomal protein genes, suggesting that in Dictyostelium non-ribosomal protein genes may be coordinately regulated with the ribosomal protein genes. Finally, using deletion analysis we show that the promoters of two of the V genes are composed of a constitutive positive element(s) located upstream of sequences involved in the regulated expression of these genes and within the first 545 upstream bp for V18 and 850 bp for V14. The regions involved in regulated expression were localized between -7 and -222 for V18 and -70 and -368 for V14. The sequences conferring protein synthesis sensitivity were shown to reside between -502 and -61 of the H4 promoter. Images PMID:2602140

  6. Isolation of an actin-binding protein from membranes of Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    1985-01-01

    We prepared a probe of radiolabeled, glutaraldehyde cross-linked filamentous actin (F-actin) to study binding of actin to membranes of Dictyostelium discoideum. The probe bound to membranes or detergent extracts of membranes with a high affinity and in a saturable manner. The binding could be reduced by boiling of either the actin probe or the membranes, or by addition of excess native F-actin, but not by addition of an equivalent amount of bovine serum albumin, to the assay. The probe labeled several proteins when used to overlay sodium dodecyl sulfate gels of Dictyostelium membranes. One of these labeled proteins was a 24,000-mol-wt protein (p24), which was soluble only in the presence of a high concentration of sodium deoxycholate (5%, wt/vol) at room temperature or above. The p24 was purified by selective detergent extraction and column chromatography. When tested in a novel two-phase binding assay, p24 bound both native monomeric actin (G-actin) and F- actin in a specific manner. In this assay, G-actin bound p24 with a submicromolar affinity. PMID:3972891

  7. Vmp1 regulates PtdIns3P signaling during autophagosome formation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Garrido, Javier; King, Jason S; Muñoz-Braceras, Sandra; Escalante, Ricardo

    2014-11-01

    Generation and turnover of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) signaling is essential for autophagosome formation and other membrane traffic processes. In both Dictyostelium discoideum and mammalian cells, autophagosomes are formed from specialized regions of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), called omegasomes, which are enriched in the signaling lipid PtdIns3P. Vacuole membrane protein 1 (Vmp1) is a multispanning membrane protein localized at the ER that is required for autophagosome formation. There are conflicting reports in the literature as to whether Vmp1 is strictly required or not for autophagy-related PtdIns3P signaling and its hierarchical relationship with Atg1 and PI3K. We have now addressed these questions in the Dictyostelium model. We show that Dictyostelium cells lacking Vmp1 have elevated and aberrant PtdIns3P signaling on the ER, resulting in an increased and persistent recruitment of Atg18 and other autophagic proteins. This indicates that Vmp1 is not strictly essential for the generation of PtdIns3P signaling but rather suggests a role in the correct turnover or modulation of this signaling. Of interest, these PtdIns3P-enriched regions of the ER surround ubiquitinated protein aggregates but are unable to form functional autophagosomes. vmp1 null cells also have additional defects in macropinocytosis and growth, which are not shared by other autophagy mutants. Remarkably, we show that these defects and also the aberrant PtdIns3P distribution are largely suppressed by the concomitant loss of Atg1, indicating that aberrant autophagic signaling on the ER inhibits macropinocytosis. These results suggest that Atg1 functions upstream of Vmp1 in this signaling pathway and demonstrates a previously unappreciated link between abnormal autophagy signaling and macropinocytosis.

  8. A retinoblastoma orthologue is required for the sensing of a chalone in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Bakthavatsalam, Deenadayalan; White, Michael J V; Herlihy, Sarah E; Phillips, Jonathan E; Gomer, Richard H

    2014-03-01

    Retinoblastoma-like proteins regulate cell differentiation and inhibit cell proliferation. The Dictyostelium discoideum retinoblastoma orthologue RblA affects the differentiation of cells during multicellular development, but it is unclear whether RblA has a significant effect on Dictyostelium cell proliferation, which is inhibited by the secreted proteins AprA and CfaD. We found that rblA⁻ cells in shaking culture proliferate to a higher density, die faster after reaching stationary density, and, after starvation, have a lower spore viability than wild-type cells, possibly because in shaking culture, rblA⁻ cells have both increased cytokinesis and lower extracellular accumulation of CfaD. However, rblA⁻ cells have abnormally slow proliferation on bacterial lawns. Recombinant AprA inhibits the proliferation of wild-type cells but not that of rblA⁻ cells, whereas CfaD inhibits the proliferation of both wild-type cells and rblA⁻ cells. Similar to aprA⁻ cells, rblA⁻ cells have a normal mass and protein accumulation rate on a per-nucleus basis, indicating that RblA affects cell proliferation but not cell growth. AprA also functions as a chemorepellent, and RblA is required for proper AprA chemorepellent activity despite the fact that RblA does not affect cell speed. Together, our data indicate that an autocrine proliferation-inhibiting factor acts through RblA to regulate cell density in Dictyostelium, suggesting that such factors may signal through retinoblastoma-like proteins to control the sizes of structures such as developing organs or tumors.

  9. Analysis of Sir2E in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum: cellular localization, spatial expression and overexpression.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Takahiro; Yasukawa, Hiro

    2008-10-01

    It has been reported that Dictyostelium discoideum encodes four silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) proteins (Sir2A-D) showing sequence similarity to human homologues of Sir2 (SIRT1-3). Further screening in a database revealed that D. discoideum encodes an additional Sir2 homologue (Sir2E). The amino acid sequence of Sir2E is not similar to those of SIRTs but is similar to those of proteins encoded by Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum. Fluorescence of Sir2E-green fluorescent protein fusion protein was detected in the D. discoideum nucleus, indicating that Sir2E is a nuclear localizing protein. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and whole-mount in situ hybridization analyses showed that D. discoideum expressed sir2E in amoebae in the growth phase and in prestalk cells in the developmental phase. D. discoideum overexpressing sir2E grew faster than the wild type. These results indicate that Sir2E plays important roles both in the growth phase and developmental phase of D. discoideum.

  10. An ancestral non-proteolytic role for presenilin proteins in multicellular development of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Ludtmann, Marthe H R; Otto, Grant P; Schilde, Christina; Chen, Zhi-Hui; Allan, Claire Y; Brace, Selina; Beesley, Philip W; Kimmel, Alan R; Fisher, Paul; Killick, Richard; Williams, Robin S B

    2014-04-01

    Mutations in either of two presenilin genes can cause familial Alzheimer's disease. Presenilins have both proteolysis-dependent functions, as components of the γ-secretase complex, and proteolysis-independent functions in signalling. In this study, we investigate a conserved function of human presenilins in the development of the simple model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. We show that the block in Dictyostelium development caused by the ablation of both Dictyostelium presenilins is rescued by the expression of human presenilin 1, restoring the terminal differentiation of multiple cell types. This developmental role is independent of proteolytic activity, because the mutation of both catalytic aspartates does not affect presenilin ability to rescue development, and the ablation of nicastrin, a γ-secretase component that is crucial for proteolytic activity, does not block development. The role of presenilins during Dictyostelium development is therefore independent of their proteolytic activity. However, presenilin loss in Dictyostelium results in elevated cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels and enhanced stimulation-induced calcium release, suggesting that presenilins regulate these intracellular signalling pathways. Our data suggest that presenilin proteins perform an ancient non-proteolytic role in regulating intracellular signalling and development, and that Dictyostelium is a useful model for analysing human presenilin function.

  11. Assets of the non-pathogenic microorganism Dictyostelium discoideum as a model for the study of eukaryotic extracellular vesicles.

    PubMed

    Tatischeff, Irène

    2013-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum microvesicles have recently been presented as a valuable model for eukaryotic extracellular vesicles. Here, the advantages of D. discoideum for unraveling important biological functions of extracellular vesicles in general are detailed. D. discoideum, a non-pathogenic eukaryotic microorganism, belongs to a billion-year-old Amoeboza lineage, which diverged from the animal-fungal lineage after the plant animal-split. During growth and early starvation-induced development, it presents analogies with lymphocytes and macrophages with regard to motility and phagocytosis capability, respectively. Its 6-chromosome genome codes for about 12,500 genes, some showing analogies with human genes. The presence of extracellular vesicles during cell growth has been evidenced as a detoxification mechanism of various structurally unrelated drugs. Controls led to the discovery of constitutive extracellular vesicle secretion in this microorganism, which was an important point. It means that the secretion of extracellular vesicles occurs, in the absence of any drug, during both cell growth and early development. This constitutive secretion of D. discoideum cells is very likely to play a role in intercellular communication. The detoxifying secreted vesicles, which can transport drugs outside the cells, can also act as "Trojan horses", capable of transferring these drugs not only into naïve D. discoideum cells, but into human cells as well. Therefore, these extracellular vesicles were proposed as a new biological drug delivery tool. Moreover, Dictyostelium, chosen by the NIH (USA) as a new model organism for biomedical research, has already been used for studying some human diseases. These cells, which are much easier to manipulate than human cells, can be easily designed in simple conditioned medium experiments. Owing to the increasing consensus that extracellular vesicles are probably important mediators of intercellular communication, D. discoideum is here

  12. Assets of the non-pathogenic microorganism Dictyostelium discoideum as a model for the study of eukaryotic extracellular vesicles.

    PubMed

    Tatischeff, Irène

    2013-03-04

    Dictyostelium discoideum microvesicles have recently been presented as a valuable model for eukaryotic extracellular vesicles. Here, the advantages of D. discoideum for unraveling important biological functions of extracellular vesicles in general are detailed. D. discoideum, a non-pathogenic eukaryotic microorganism, belongs to a billion-year-old Amoeboza lineage, which diverged from the animal-fungal lineage after the plant animal-split. During growth and early starvation-induced development, it presents analogies with lymphocytes and macrophages with regard to motility and phagocytosis capability, respectively. Its 6-chromosome genome codes for about 12,500 genes, some showing analogies with human genes. The presence of extracellular vesicles during cell growth has been evidenced as a detoxification mechanism of various structurally unrelated drugs. Controls led to the discovery of constitutive extracellular vesicle secretion in this microorganism, which was an important point. It means that the secretion of extracellular vesicles occurs, in the absence of any drug, during both cell growth and early development. This constitutive secretion of D. discoideum cells is very likely to play a role in intercellular communication. The detoxifying secreted vesicles, which can transport drugs outside the cells, can also act as "Trojan horses", capable of transferring these drugs not only into naïve D. discoideum cells, but into human cells as well. Therefore, these extracellular vesicles were proposed as a new biological drug delivery tool. Moreover, Dictyostelium, chosen by the NIH (USA) as a new model organism for biomedical research, has already been used for studying some human diseases. These cells, which are much easier to manipulate than human cells, can be easily designed in simple conditioned medium experiments. Owing to the increasing consensus that extracellular vesicles are probably important mediators of intercellular communication, D. discoideum is here

  13. Dictyostelium discoideum lipids modulate cell-cell cohesion and cyclic AMP signaling.

    PubMed Central

    Fontana, D R; Luo, C S; Phillips, J C

    1991-01-01

    During Dictyostelium discoideum development, cell-cell communication is mediated through cyclic AMP (cAMP)-induced cAMP synthesis and secretion (cAMP signaling) and cell-cell contact. Cell-cell contact elicits cAMP secretion and modulates the magnitude of a subsequent cAMP signaling response (D. R. Fontana and P. L. Price, Differentiation 41:184-192, 1989), demonstrating that cell-cell contact and cAMP signaling are not independent events. To identify components involved in the contact-mediated modulation of cAMP signaling, amoebal membranes were added to aggregation-competent amoebae in suspension. The membranes from aggregation-competent amoebae inhibited cAMP signaling at all concentrations tested, while the membranes from vegetative amoebae exhibited a concentration-dependent enhancement or inhibition of cAMP signaling. Membrane lipids inhibited cAMP signaling at all concentrations tested. The lipids abolished cAMP signaling by blocking cAMP-induced adenylyl cyclase activation. The membrane lipids also inhibited amoeba-amoeba cohesion at concentrations comparable to those which inhibited cAMP signaling. The phospholipids and neutral lipids decreased cohesion and inhibited the cAMP signaling response. The glycolipid/sulfolipid fraction enhanced cohesion and cAMP signaling. Caffeine, a known inhibitor of cAMP-induced adenylyl cyclase activation, inhibited amoeba-amoeba cohesion. These studies demonstrate that endogenous lipids are capable of modulating amoeba-amoeba cohesion and cAMP-induced activation of the adenylyl cyclase. These results suggest that cohesion may modulate cAMP-induced adenylyl cyclase activation. Because the complete elimination of cohesion is accompanied by the complete elimination of cAMP signaling, these results further suggest that cohesion may be necessary for cAMP-induced adenylyl cyclase activation in D. discoideum. PMID:1846024

  14. A RabGAP Regulates Life-Cycle Duration via Trimeric G-protein Cascades in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Kuwayama, Hidekazu; Miyanaga, Yukihiro; Urushihara, Hideko; Ueda, Masahiro

    2013-01-01

    Background The life-cycle of cellular slime molds comprises chronobiologically regulated processes. During the growth phase, the amoeboid cells proliferate at a definite rate. Upon starvation, they synthesize cAMP as both first and second messengers in signalling pathways and form aggregates, migrating slugs, and fruiting bodies, consisting of spores and stalk cells, within 24 h. In Dictyostelium discoideum, because most growth-specific events cease during development, proliferative and heterochronic mutations are not considered to be interrelated and no genetic factor governing the entire life-cycle duration has ever been identified. Methodology/Principal Findings Using yeast 2-hybrid library screening, we isolated a Dictyostelium discoideum RabGAP, Dd Rbg-3, as a candidate molecule by which the Dictyostelium Gα2 subunit directs its effects. Rab GTPase-activating protein, RabGAP, acts as a negative regulator of Rab small GTPases, which orchestrate the intracellular membrane trafficking involved in cell proliferation. Deletion mutants of Dd rbg-3 exhibited an increased growth rate and a shortened developmental period, while an overexpression mutant demonstrated the opposite effects. We also show that Dd Rbg-3 interacts with 2 Gα subunits in an activity-dependent manner in vitro. Furthermore, both human and Caenorhabditis elegans rbg-3 homologs complemented the Dd rbg-3–deletion phenotype in D. discoideum, indicating that similar pathways may be generally conserved in multicellular organisms. Conclusions/Significance Our findings suggest that Dd Rbg-3 acts as a key element regulating the duration of D. discoideum life-span potentially via trimeric G-protein cascades. PMID:24349132

  15. Identification of Proteins Associated with Multilamellar Bodies Produced by Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Denoncourt, Alix M.; Paquet, Valérie E.; Sedighi, Ahmadreza; Charette, Steve J.

    2016-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae produce and secrete multilamellar bodies (MLBs) when fed digestible bacteria. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the proteic content of MLBs. The lipid composition of MLBs is mainly amoebal in origin, suggesting that MLB formation is a protozoa-driven process that could play a significant role in amoebal physiology. We identified four major proteins on purified MLBs using mass spectrometry in order to better understand the molecular mechanisms governing MLB formation and, eventually, to elucidate the true function of MLBs. These proteins were SctA, PhoPQ, PonC and a protein containing a cytidine/deoxycytidylate deaminase (CDD) zinc-binding region. SctA is a component of pycnosomes, which are membranous materials that are continuously secreted by amoebae. The presence of SctA on MLBs was confirmed by immunofluorescence and Western blotting using a specific anti-SctA antibody. The CDD protein may be one of the proteins recognized by the H36 antibody, which was used as a MLB marker in a previous study. The function of the CDD protein is unknown. Immunofluorescence and flow cytometric analyses confirmed that the H36 antibody is a better marker of MLBs than the anti-SctA antibody. This study is an additional step to elucidate the potential role of MLBs and revealed that only a small set of proteins appeared to be present on MLBs. PMID:27340834

  16. Cooperation Induces Other Cooperation: Fruiting Bodies Promote the Evolution of Macrocysts in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Shibasaki, Shota; Shirokawa, Yuka; Shimada, Masakazu

    2017-04-03

    Biological studies of the evolution of cooperation are challenging because this process is vulnerable to cheating. Many mechanisms, including kin discrimination, spatial structure, or by-products of self-interested behaviors, can explain this evolution. Here we propose that the evolution of cooperation can be induced by other cooperation. To test this idea, we used a model organism Dictyostelium discoideum because it exhibits two cooperative dormant phases, the fruiting body and the macrocyst. In both phases, the same chemoattractant, cyclic AMP (cAMP), is used to collect cells. This common feature led us to hypothesize that the evolution of macrocyst formation would be induced by coexistence with fruiting bodies. Before forming a mathematical model, we confirmed that macrocysts coexisted with fruiting bodies, at least under laboratory conditions. Next, we analyzed our evolutionary game theory-based model to investigate whether coexistence with fruiting bodies would stabilize macrocyst formation. The model suggests that macrocyst formation represents an evolutionarily stable strategy and a global invader strategy under this coexistence, but is unstable if the model ignores the fruiting body formation. This result indicates that the evolution of macrocyst formation and maintenance is attributable to coexistence with fruiting bodies. Therefore, macrocyst evolution can be considered as an example of evolution of cooperation induced by other cooperation.

  17. Overexpression of TOR (target of rapamycin) inhibits cell proliferation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Swer, Pynskhem Bok; Mishra, Himanshu; Lohia, Rakhee; Saran, Shweta

    2016-05-01

    TOR (target of rapamycin) protein kinase acts as a central controller of cell growth and development of an organism. Present study was undertaken to find the expression pattern and role of TOR during growth and development of Dictyostelium discoideum. Failures to generate either knockout and/or knockdown mutants indicate that interference with its levels led to cellular defects. Thus, the effects of TOR (DDB_G0281569) overexpression specifically, cells expressing Dd(Δ211-TOR)-Eyfp mutant was analyzed. Elevated expression of (Δ211-TOR)-Eyfp reduced both cell size and cell proliferation. DdTOR was found to be closer to fungus. mRNA level of TOR was found maximally in the freshly starved/aggregate cells that gradually declined. This was also strengthened by the expression patterns observed by in situ and the analysis of β-galactosidase reporter driven by the putative TOR promoter. The TOR protein was found to be highest at the aggregate stage. The fusion protein, (Δ211-TOR)-Eyfp was localized to the cell membrane, cytosol, and the nucleus. We suggest, DdTOR to be an essential protein and high TOR expression inhibits cell proliferation. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Cytochemical study of the nucleolus of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Benichou, J.C.; Quiviger, B.; Ryter, A.

    1983-07-01

    The nucleus of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum is characterized by the presence of several large dense masses which are all in tight contact with the nuclear membrane. These dense masses, considered as nucleoli, present a rather homogeneous texture, in which dense chromatin, fibrillar, and granular material are not easily detected. The autoradiographic study of (/sup 3/H)uridine pulse-labeled cells showed that the majority of the silver grains were located inside these masses. The use of EDTA regressive-staining, acetylation and enzymatic digestion indicated that they are mostly composed of RNP and are totally devoid of dense chromatin as the rest of the nucleus is. After treatment with actinomycin D, fibrillar and granular material segregated but no chromatin could be found. All these observations confirmed that the dense masses correspond to nucleoli despite their peculiar ultrastructure. It can also be concluded that this type of nucleoli cannot be considered as a taxonomic character of the slime molds because it does not exist in all slime molds and was observed in some dinoflagellates, and ascomycetes.

  19. Flow-driven waves and sink-driven oscillations during aggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholami, Azam; Zykov, Vladimir; Steinbock, Oliver; Bodenschatz, Eberhard

    The slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum (D.d) is a well-known model system for the study of biological pattern formation. Under starvation, D.d. cells aggregate chemotactically towards cAMP signals emitted periodically from an aggregation center. In the natural environment, D.d cells may experience fluid flows that can profoundly change the underlying wave generation process. We investigate spatial-temporal dynamics of a uniformly distributed population of D.d. cells in a flow-through narrow microfluidic channel with a cell-free inlet area. We show that flow can significantly influence the dynamics of the system and lead to a flow- driven instability that initiate downstream traveling cAMP waves. We also show that cell-free boundary regions have a significant effect on the observed patterns and can lead to a new kind of instability. Since there are no cells in the inlet to produce cAMP, the points in the vicinity of the inlet lose cAMP due to advection or diffusion and gain only a little from the upstream of the channel (inlet). In other words, there is a large negative flux of cAMP in the neighborhood close to the inlet, which can be considered as a sink. This negative flux close to the inlet drives a new kind of instability called sink-driven oscillations. Financial support of the MaxSynBio Consortium is acknowledged.

  20. A Quorum-Sensing Factor in Vegetative Dictyostelium Discoideum Cells Revealed by Quantitative Migration Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Golé, Laurent; Rivière, Charlotte; Hayakawa, Yoshinori; Rieu, Jean-Paul

    2011-01-01

    Background Many cells communicate through the production of diffusible signaling molecules that accumulate and once a critical concentration has been reached, can activate or repress a number of target genes in a process termed quorum sensing (QS). In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, QS plays an important role during development. However little is known about its effect on cell migration especially in the growth phase. Methods and Findings To investigate the role of cell density on cell migration in the growth phase, we use multisite timelapse microscopy and automated cell tracking. This analysis reveals a high heterogeneity within a given cell population, and the necessity to use large data sets to draw reliable conclusions on cell motion. In average, motion is persistent for short periods of time (), but normal diffusive behavior is recovered over longer time periods. The persistence times are positively correlated with the migrated distances. Interestingly, the migrated distance decreases as well with cell density. The adaptation of cell migration to cell density highlights the role of a secreted quorum sensing factor (QSF) on cell migration. Using a simple model describing the balance between the rate of QSF generation and the rate of QSF dilution, we were able to gather all experimental results into a single master curve, showing a sharp cell transition between high and low motile behaviors with increasing QSF. Conclusion This study unambiguously demonstrates the central role played by QSF on amoeboid motion in the growth phase. PMID:22073217

  1. Effect of Amphotericin B on Growth and Membrane Permeability in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Rossomando, Edward F.; Creme, Gerard; Maldonado, Barbara; Hesla, Mary Ann; Golub, Ellis E.

    1976-01-01

    In this study we have determined the effect of the polyene antibiotic amphotericin B on the growth of the eukaryotic microorganism Dictyostelium discoideum. These experiments show that the addition of drug to axenically growing cultures results in an inhibition of growth and cell division. However, with continued incubation, growth is resumed. To determine if the inhibitory effect was due to cell death, the effect of the drug on cell viability was measured. The results showed 10 to 20 times more drug was required to kill cells than to inhibit growth. Since previous studies had indicated that drugs of this type modified cellular permeability, the effect of this drug on osmotic stability of these cells was determined. Results reported in this study show that amphotericin B treatment modifies the cell surface, producing osmotically unstable cells, and that this modification occurs before the onset of cell death and within the same concentration range as used to bring about the inhibition of growth and division. Based on these data it is suggested that the modification in cellular permeability produced by the drug results in the inhibition of growth. This study also reports the results of experiments on the fate of the membrane-damaged cells. These experiments, using radioactive thiourea, showed the restoration of cellular permeability barrier and suggested that the resumption of cell growth occurs after the completion of the repair process. PMID:944552

  2. Identifying the molecular basis of functions in the transcriptome of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Whitney, T J; Gardner, D G; Mott, M L; Brandon, M

    2010-03-09

    The unusual life cycle of Dictyostelium discoideum, in which an extra-cellular stressor such as starvation induces the development of a multicellular fruiting body consisting of stalk cells and spores from a culture of identical amoebae, provides an excellent model for investigating the molecular control of differentiation and the transition from single- to multi-cellular life, a key transition in development. We utilized serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), a molecular method that is unbiased by dependence on previously identified genes, to obtain a transcriptome from a high-density culture of amoebae, in order to examine the transition to multi-cellular development. The SAGE method provides relative expression levels, which allows us to rank order the expressed genes. We found that a large number of ribosomal proteins were expressed at high levels, while various components of the proteosome were expressed at low levels. The only identifiable transmembrane signaling system components expressed in amoebae are related to quorum sensing, and their expression levels were relatively low. The most highly expressed gene in the amoeba transcriptome, dutA untranslated RNA, is a molecule with unknown function that may serve as an inhibitor of translation. These results suggest that high-density amoebae have not initiated development, and they also suggest a mechanism by which the transition into the development program is controlled.

  3. The rate and effects of spontaneous mutation on fitness traits in the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Hall, David W; Fox, Sara; Kuzdzal-Fick, Jennie J; Strassmann, Joan E; Queller, David C

    2013-07-08

    We performed a mutation accumulation (MA) experiment in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to estimate the rate and distribution of effects of spontaneous mutations affecting eight putative fitness traits. We found that the per-generation mutation rate for most fitness components is 0.0019 mutations per haploid genome per generation or larger. This rate is an order of magnitude higher than estimates for fitness components in the unicellular eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, even though the base-pair substitution rate is two orders of magnitude lower. The high rate of fitness-altering mutations observed in this species may be partially explained by a large mutational target relative to S. cerevisiae. Fitness-altering mutations also may occur primarily at simple sequence repeats, which are common throughout the genome, including in coding regions, and may represent a target that is particularly likely to give fitness effects upon mutation. The majority of mutations had deleterious effects on fitness, but there was evidence for a substantial fraction, up to 40%, being beneficial for some of the putative fitness traits. Competitive ability within the multicellular slug appears to be under weak directional selection, perhaps reflecting the fact that slugs are sometimes, but not often, comprised of multiple clones in nature. Evidence for pleiotropy among fitness components across MA lines was absent, suggesting that mutations tend to act on single fitness components.

  4. Proteomic profiling of the extracellular matrix (slime sheath) of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Huber, Robert J; O'Day, Danton H

    2015-10-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum has historically served as a model system for cell and developmental biology, but recently it has gained increasing attention as a model for the study of human diseases. The extracellular matrix (ECM) of this eukaryotic microbe serves multiple essential functions during development. It not only provides structural integrity to the moving multicellular pseudoplasmodium, or slug, it also provides components that regulate cell motility and differentiation. An LC/MS/MS analysis of slug ECM revealed the presence of a large number of proteins in two wild-type strains, NC4 and WS380B. GO annotation identified a large number of proteins involved in some form of binding (e.g. protein, polysaccharide, cellulose, carbohydrate, ATP, cAMP, ion, lipid, vitamin), as well as proteins that modulate metabolic processes, cell movement, and multicellular development. In addition, this proteomic analysis identified numerous expected (e.g. EcmA, EcmD, discoidin I, discoidin II), as well as unexpected (e.g. ribosomal and nuclear proteins) components. These topics are discussed in terms of the structure and function of the ECM during the development of this model amoebozoan and their relevance to ongoing biomedical research.

  5. Properties of the Kinesin-1 motor DdKif3 from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Röhlk, Christian; Rohlfs, Meino; Leier, Sven; Schliwa, Manfred; Liu, Xiao; Parsch, John; Woehlke, Günther

    2008-04-01

    The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum possesses genes for 13 different kinesins. Here we characterize DdKif3, a member of the Kinesin-1 family. Kinesin-1 motors form homodimers that can move micrometer-long distances on microtubules using the energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. We expressed recombinant motors in Escherichia coli and tested them in different in vitro assays. Full-length and truncated Kif3 motors were active in gliding and ATPase assays. They showed a strong dependence on ionic strength. Like the full-length motor, the truncated DdKif3-592 motor (aa 1-592; comprising motor domain, neck, and partial stalk) reached its maximum speed of around 2.0micrcom s(-1) at a potassium acetate concentration of 200mM. The shortened DdKif3-342 motor (aa 1-342; comprising motor domain, partial neck) showed a high ATP turnover, comparable to that of the fungal Kinesin-1, Nkin. Results from the duty cycle calculations and gliding assays indicate that DdKif3 is a processive motor. A GFP-fusion protein revealed a mainly cytoplasmic localization of DdKif3. Immunofluorescence staining makes an association with the endoplasmic reticulum or mitochondria unlikely. Despite a similar phylogenetic distance to both metazoa and fungi, in terms of its biochemical properties DdKif3 revealed a closer similarity to fungal than animal kinesins.

  6. Microtubules Are Essential for Mitochondrial Dynamics–Fission, Fusion, and Motility–in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Woods, Laken C.; Berbusse, Gregory W.; Naylor, Kari

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial function is dependent upon mitochondrial structure which is in turn dependent upon mitochondrial dynamics, including fission, fusion, and motility. Here we examined the relationship between mitochondrial dynamics and the cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium discoideum. Using time-lapse analysis, we quantified mitochondrial fission, fusion, and motility in the presence of cytoskeleton disrupting pharmaceuticals and the absence of the potential mitochondria-cytoskeleton linker protein, CluA. Our results indicate that microtubules are essential for mitochondrial movement, as well as fission and fusion; actin plays a less significant role, perhaps selecting the mitochondria for transport. We also suggest that CluA is not a linker protein but plays an unidentified role in mitochondrial fission and fusion. The significance of our work is to gain further insight into the role the cytoskeleton plays in mitochondrial dynamics and function. By better understanding these processes we can better appreciate the underlying mitochondrial contributions to many neurological disorders characterized by altered mitochondrial dynamics, structure, and/or function. PMID:27047941

  7. Partial Purification and Characterization of Glycogen Phosphorylase from Dictyostelium discoideum1

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Theodore H. D.; Wright, Barbara E.

    1970-01-01

    Glycogen phosphorylase was isolated from cells of Dictyostelium discoideum in the culmination stage of development and purified 35-fold. The enzyme had a pH optimum of 6.9 and contained sulfhydryl groups essential for activity. The Km values for phosphate and glycogen were 3 mm and 0.06% (w/v), respectively. No dependence on, or stimulation by, any nucleotide was observed and a wide variety of nucleotides and glycolytic intermediates did not inhibit the enzyme. Nucleotide sugars competitively inhibited the enzyme. Guanosine diphosphoglucose and adenosine diphosphoglucose were the most effective, and uridine diphosphoglucose was the least effective of the nucleotide sugars tested. The specific activity of glycogen phosphorylase increased from about 0.004 unit per mg of protein in aggregating cells to about 0.024 unit per mg in culminating cells, and then decreased during sorocarp formation. This increase in enzyme specific activity during the starvation and aging of the system can account for the increased rate of glycogen degradation during this period of development. Amylase specific activity, measured at pH 4.8 and 6.9, varied between 0.005 and 0.013 unit per mg of protein during all stages of development. PMID:5530813

  8. [3H]Methotrexate as a ligand for the folate receptor of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Nandini-Kishore, S G; Frazier, W A

    1981-01-01

    Studies of the folate chemotactic receptor of vegetative Dictyostelium discoideum cells have been hampered by the presence of the degradative enzyme folate deaminase. The diaminopterin compounds aminopterin and methotrexate (MTX) are chemoattractants but are not attacked by the deaminase. [3',5',7,9-3H]methotrexate ([3H]MTX) is a nondegraded radioligand for the folate receptor. Binding to the receptor is rapid, reaching steady state in less than one min, and reversible in less than 15 s by an excess of unlabeled MTX. A single class of binding sites is found with a Kd of 2 x 10(-8) M, which correlates well with the concentration dependence of chemotaxis. Folate, aminopterin, and MTX all compete for [3H]MTX binding, whereas pterin, p-aminobenzoate, and nucleotides do not. Analysis of the receptor during differentiation indicates a decrease in site number by a factor of 3 with no change in affinity during the first 7 hr. During this time, the directional response (chemotaxis) to MTX and folate is lost, but a nondirectional stimulation of motility rate (chemokinesis) is retained. The response to cyclic AMP displays reciprocal behavior, first appearing as a chemokinetic response and then as a chemotactic response. PMID:6278468

  9. A large scale screen reveals genes that mediate electrotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum**

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Runchi; Zhao, Siwei; Jiang, Xupin; Sun, Yaohui; Zhao, Sanjun; Gao, Jing; Borleis, Jane; Willard, Stacey; Tang, Ming; Cai, Huaqing; Kamimura, Yoichiro; Huang, Yuesheng; Jiang, Jianxin; Huang, Zunxi; Mogilner, Alex; Pan, Tingrui; Devreotes, Peter N; Zhao, Min

    2015-01-01

    Directional cell migration in an electric field, a phenomenon called galvanotaxis or electrotaxis, occurs in many types of cells, and may play an important role in wound healing and development. Small extracellular electric fields can guide the migration of amoeboid cells, and here, we established a large-scale screening approach to search for mutants with electrotaxis phenotypes from a collection of 563 Dictyostelium discoideum strains with morphological defects. We identified 28 strains that were defective in electrotaxis and 10 strains with a slightly higher directional response. Using plasmid rescue followed by gene disruption, we identified some of the mutated genes, including some previously implicated in chemotaxis. Amongst these we studied PiaA, which encodes a critical component of TORC2, a kinase protein complex that transduces changes in motility by activating the kinase PKB (also known as Akt). Furthermore, we found that electrotaxis was decreased in mutants lacking gefA, rasC, rip3, lst8 or pkbR1, genes that encode other components of the TORC2-PKB pathway. Thus, we have developed a high-throughput screening technique that will be a useful tool to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of electrotaxis. PMID:26012633

  10. cAMP stimulation of Dictyostelium discoideum destabilizes the mRNA for 117 antigen.

    PubMed

    Juliani, M H; Souza, G M; Klein, C

    1990-06-05

    Transcription of the 117 gene and changes in its mRNA levels in Dictyostelium discoideum were studied by mRNA hybridization with a cDNA probe. In wild type cells (Ax-2), the expression is developmentally regulated during cell aggregation, while in the aggregateless mutant, Agip 45, 117 mRNA is not detectable during cell starvation. Low concentrations of cAMP, given in the form of extracellular pulses to induce the development of starved Agip 45 cells to aggregation competence, are able to induce the appearance of 117 mRNA. The induction seems to be via the cell surface cAMP receptor and by a mechanism which does not involve changes in intracellular cAMP. Interestingly, high concentrations of cAMP, which down-regulate the cell surface cAMP receptor, elicit a rapid decrease in the level of 117 mRNA in aggregation-competent cells. Nuclear run-off and pulse-chase experiments show that the high concentrations of cAMP selectively destabilize the mRNA for 117 antigen. This destabilization requires both de novo mRNA synthesis and protein synthesis since the addition of inhibitors of these processes eliminates the effects of cAMP on 117 mRNA. The data suggest that a cAMP-induced protein(s) may be involved in the destabilization of selective mRNAs.

  11. Micrometer-Scale Membrane Transition of Supported Lipid Bilayer Membrane Reconstituted with Cytosol of Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Kei; Toyota, Taro

    2017-01-01

    Background: The transformation of the supported lipid bilayer (SLB) membrane by extracted cytosol from living resources, has recently drawn much attention. It enables us to address the question of whether the purified phospholipid SLB membrane, including lipids related to amoeba locomotion, which was discussed in many previous studies, exhibits membrane deformation in the presence of cytosol extracted from amoeba; Methods: In this report, a method for reconstituting a supported lipid bilayer (SLB) membrane, composed of purified phospholipids and cytosol extracted from Dictyostelium discoideum, is described. This technique is a new reconstitution method combining the artificial constitution of membranes with the reconstitution using animate cytosol (without precise purification at a molecular level), contributing to membrane deformation analysis; Results: The morphology transition of a SLB membrane composed of phosphatidylcholines, after the addition of cytosolic extract, was traced using a confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscope. As a result, pore formation in the SLB membrane was observed and phosphatidylinositides incorporated into the SLB membrane tended to suppress pore formation and expansion; Conclusions: The current findings imply that phosphatidylinositides have the potential to control cytoplasm activity and bind to a phosphoinositide-containing SLB membrane. PMID:28272354

  12. Micrometer-Scale Membrane Transition of Supported Lipid Bilayer Membrane Reconstituted with Cytosol of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kei; Toyota, Taro

    2017-03-07

    The transformation of the supported lipid bilayer (SLB) membrane by extracted cytosol from living resources, has recently drawn much attention. It enables us to address the question of whether the purified phospholipid SLB membrane, including lipids related to amoeba locomotion, which was discussed in many previous studies, exhibits membrane deformation in the presence of cytosol extracted from amoeba; Methods: In this report, a method for reconstituting a supported lipid bilayer (SLB) membrane, composed of purified phospholipids and cytosol extracted from Dictyostelium discoideum, is described. This technique is a new reconstitution method combining the artificial constitution of membranes with the reconstitution using animate cytosol (without precise purification at a molecular level), contributing to membrane deformation analysis; Results: The morphology transition of a SLB membrane composed of phosphatidylcholines, after the addition of cytosolic extract, was traced using a confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscope. As a result, pore formation in the SLB membrane was observed and phosphatidylinositides incorporated into the SLB membrane tended to suppress pore formation and expansion; Conclusions: The current findings imply that phosphatidylinositides have the potential to control cytoplasm activity and bind to a phosphoinositide-containing SLB membrane.

  13. Rates of synthesis and degradation of ribosomal ribonucleic acid during differentiation of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G; Altruda, F; Lodish, H F

    1981-01-01

    Synthesis of ribosomes and ribosomal ribonucleic acid (RNA) continued during differentiation of Dictyostelium discoideum concurrently with extensive turnover of ribosomes synthesized during both growth and developmental stages. We show here that the rate of synthesis of 26S and 17S ribosomal RNA during differentiation was less than 15% of that in growing cells, and by the time of sorocarp formation only about 25% of the cellular ribosomes had been synthesized during differentiation. Ribosomes synthesized during growth and differentiation were utilized in messenger RNA translation to the same extent; about 50% of each class were on polyribosomes. Ribosome degradation is apparently an all-or-nothing process, since virtually all 80S monosomes present in developing cells could be incorporated into polysomes when growth conditions were restored. By several criteria, ribosomes synthesized during growth and differentiation were functionally indistinguishable. Our data, together with previously published information on changes in the messenger RNA population during differentiation, indicate that synthesis of new ribosomes is not necessary for translation of developmentally regulated messenger RNA. We also establish that the overall rate of messenger RNA synthesis during differentiation is less than 15% of that in growing cells.

  14. Different mRNAs have different nuclear transit times in Dictyostelium discoideum aggregates.

    PubMed Central

    Mangiarotti, G; Zuker, C; Chisholm, R L; Lodish, H F

    1983-01-01

    Nuclear processing of mRNA precursors in differentiating multicellular Dictyostelium discoideum aggregates is markedly slower than in growing amoebae. Thus, we have been able to determine the time of nuclear processing of individual mRNA species in postaggregating cells by following the incorporation of 32PO4 into nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA complementary to cloned cDNAs. Precursors of mRNAs synthesized during both growth and differentiation remain in the nucleus for about 25 to 60 min. By contrast, typical mRNAs which are synthesized only by postaggregative cells have nuclear processing times between 50 and 100 min. Depending on the particular mRNA, between 20 and 60% of nuclear transcripts are converted into cytoplasmic mRNA. A third class of mRNAs are transcribed from a set of repetitive DNA segments and are expressed predominantly during differentiation. Nuclear precursors of these mRNAs are extensively degraded within the nucleus or very rapidly after transport to the cytoplasm. Those sequences that are stable in the cytoplasm exit from the nucleus only after a lag of over 2 h. Thus, mRNAs encoded by different genes that are subject to different types of developmental controls display different times of transit to the cytoplasm and different efficiencies of nuclear processing. Differential nuclear processing may contribute to the regulation of the level of individual cytoplasmic mRNAs. Images PMID:6621537

  15. Regulation of gene expression in Dictyostelium discoideum cells exposed to immobilized carbohydrates

    PubMed Central

    Bozzaro, Salvatore; Perlo, Carla; Ceccarelli, Adriano; Mangiarotti, Giorgio

    1984-01-01

    When amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum develop on gels of polyacrylamide that are derivatized with glucosides, they become capable of aggregation at the same time as cells not exposed to glucosides. However, the aggregation centers and streams of adherent cells formed on immobilized glucosides suddenly disintegrate. The cells repeatedly re-aggregate, but never form tight aggregates as they do on other substrata. Tight aggregates formed in the absence of glucosides disperse after their transfer to glucoside gels, and the cells undergo aggregation-disaggregation cycles. The formation of tight aggregates is correlated with the expression of specific post-aggregative poly(A)+ RNAs. These RNAs are not expressed in cells developing on glucoside gels, and the dispersal of tight aggregates on such gels is accompanied by the almost complete loss of these RNAs. A developmentally regulated membrane glycoprotein called contact site A, which is a marker of aggregation-competent cells, is normally expressed on glucoside gels. Cyclic AMP is also produced, indicating that the strong increase of adenylate cyclase activity during the preaggregation phase is not affected. In conclusion, cell contact with immobilized glucosides specifically inhibits postaggregative gene expression and arrests development at the aggregation stage. ImagesFig. 1.Fig. 2.Fig. 3.Fig. 5.Fig. 7. PMID:16453493

  16. Rates of synthesis and degradation of ribosomal ribonucleic acid during differentiation of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Mangiarotti, G; Altruda, F; Lodish, H F

    1981-01-01

    Synthesis of ribosomes and ribosomal ribonucleic acid (RNA) continued during differentiation of Dictyostelium discoideum concurrently with extensive turnover of ribosomes synthesized during both growth and developmental stages. We show here that the rate of synthesis of 26S and 17S ribosomal RNA during differentiation was less than 15% of that in growing cells, and by the time of sorocarp formation only about 25% of the cellular ribosomes had been synthesized during differentiation. Ribosomes synthesized during growth and differentiation were utilized in messenger RNA translation to the same extent; about 50% of each class were on polyribosomes. Ribosome degradation is apparently an all-or-nothing process, since virtually all 80S monosomes present in developing cells could be incorporated into polysomes when growth conditions were restored. By several criteria, ribosomes synthesized during growth and differentiation were functionally indistinguishable. Our data, together with previously published information on changes in the messenger RNA population during differentiation, indicate that synthesis of new ribosomes is not necessary for translation of developmentally regulated messenger RNA. We also establish that the overall rate of messenger RNA synthesis during differentiation is less than 15% of that in growing cells. PMID:6965093

  17. Differentiation of Dictyostelium discoideum vegetative cells into spores during Earth orbit in space.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, A; Ohnishi, K; Takahashi, S; Masukawa, M; Sekikawa, K; Amano, T; Nakano, T; Nagaoka, S; Ohnishi, T

    2001-01-01

    We reported previously that emerged amoebae of Dictyostelium (D.) discoideum grew, aggregated and differentiated to fruiting bodies with normal morphology in space. Here, we investigated the effects of space radiation and/or microgravity on the number, viability, kinetics of germination, growth rate and mutation frequency of spores formed in space in a radiation-sensitive strain, gamma s13, and the parental strain, NC4. In gamma s13, there were hardly spores in the fruiting bodies formed in space. In NC4, we found a decrease in the number of spores, a delay in germination of the spores and delayed start of cell growth of the spores formed in space when compared to the ground control. However, the mutation frequency of the NC4 spores formed in space was similar to that of the ground control. We conclude that the depression of spore formation might be induced by microgravity and/or space radiation through the depression of some stage(s) of DNA repair during cell differentiation in the slime mold.

  18. Microtubules Are Essential for Mitochondrial Dynamics-Fission, Fusion, and Motility-in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Woods, Laken C; Berbusse, Gregory W; Naylor, Kari

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial function is dependent upon mitochondrial structure which is in turn dependent upon mitochondrial dynamics, including fission, fusion, and motility. Here we examined the relationship between mitochondrial dynamics and the cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium discoideum. Using time-lapse analysis, we quantified mitochondrial fission, fusion, and motility in the presence of cytoskeleton disrupting pharmaceuticals and the absence of the potential mitochondria-cytoskeleton linker protein, CluA. Our results indicate that microtubules are essential for mitochondrial movement, as well as fission and fusion; actin plays a less significant role, perhaps selecting the mitochondria for transport. We also suggest that CluA is not a linker protein but plays an unidentified role in mitochondrial fission and fusion. The significance of our work is to gain further insight into the role the cytoskeleton plays in mitochondrial dynamics and function. By better understanding these processes we can better appreciate the underlying mitochondrial contributions to many neurological disorders characterized by altered mitochondrial dynamics, structure, and/or function.

  19. Actin-Interacting Protein 1 Contributes to Intranuclear Rod Assembly in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Ishikawa-Ankerhold, Hellen C.; Daszkiewicz, Wioleta; Schleicher, Michael; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette

    2017-01-01

    Intranuclear rods are aggregates consisting of actin and cofilin that are formed in the nucleus in consequence of chemical or mechanical stress conditions. The formation of rods is implicated in a variety of pathological conditions, such as certain myopathies and some neurological disorders. It is still not well understood what exactly triggers the formation of intranuclear rods, whether other proteins are involved, and what the underlying mechanisms of rod assembly or disassembly are. In this study, Dictyostelium discoideum was used to examine appearance, stages of assembly, composition, stability, and dismantling of rods. Our data show that intranuclear rods, in addition to actin and cofilin, are composed of a distinct set of other proteins comprising actin-interacting protein 1 (Aip1), coronin (CorA), filactin (Fia), and the 34 kDa actin-bundling protein B (AbpB). A finely tuned spatio-temporal pattern of protein recruitment was found during formation of rods. Aip1 is important for the final state of rod compaction indicating that Aip1 plays a major role in shaping the intranuclear rods. In the absence of both Aip1 and CorA, rods are not formed in the nucleus, suggesting that a sufficient supply of monomeric actin is a prerequisite for rod formation. PMID:28074884

  20. Translational control of discoidin lectin expression in drsA suppressor mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, S; Leone, S; Ostermeyer, E

    1991-01-01

    Genetic analysis in Dictyostelium discoideum has identified regulatory genes which control the developmental expression of the discoidin lectin multigene family. Among these, the drsA mutation is a dominant second-site suppressor of another mutation, disB, which has the discoidinless phenotype. We now demonstrate a novel mechanism by which the drsA allele exerts its suppressive effect on the disB mutation. Interestingly, drsA does not merely bypass the disB mutation and restore the wild-type pattern of lectin expression. Rather, drsA mutant cells have high levels of discoidin lectin synthesis during growth but do not express lectins during aggregation. In contrast, wild-type cells only express lectin protein during the aggregation period of development. Phenocopies of the drsA mutation show a pattern of discoidin expression similar to that seen in the bona fide mutant. These data suggest that there may be a mechanism of negative feedback, resulting from the high levels of discoidin lectin made during growth, which inhibits further discoidin lectin expression during development. Northern (RNA) analysis of developing drsA mutant cells shows that these cells contain high levels of discoidin mRNA, although no discoidin lectin protein is being translated from these messages. Therefore, expression of the discoidin gene family can be controlled at the level of translation as well as transcription. Images PMID:2038325

  1. Regulation of gene expression in Dictyostelium discoideum cells exposed to immobilized carbohydrates.

    PubMed

    Bozzaro, S; Perlo, C; Ceccarelli, A; Mangiarotti, G

    1984-01-01

    When amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum develop on gels of polyacrylamide that are derivatized with glucosides, they become capable of aggregation at the same time as cells not exposed to glucosides. However, the aggregation centers and streams of adherent cells formed on immobilized glucosides suddenly disintegrate. The cells repeatedly re-aggregate, but never form tight aggregates as they do on other substrata. Tight aggregates formed in the absence of glucosides disperse after their transfer to glucoside gels, and the cells undergo aggregation-disaggregation cycles. The formation of tight aggregates is correlated with the expression of specific post-aggregative poly(A) RNAs. These RNAs are not expressed in cells developing on glucoside gels, and the dispersal of tight aggregates on such gels is accompanied by the almost complete loss of these RNAs. A developmentally regulated membrane glycoprotein called contact site A, which is a marker of aggregation-competent cells, is normally expressed on glucoside gels. Cyclic AMP is also produced, indicating that the strong increase of adenylate cyclase activity during the preaggregation phase is not affected. In conclusion, cell contact with immobilized glucosides specifically inhibits postaggregative gene expression and arrests development at the aggregation stage.

  2. DYNAMICS OF ANTIGENIC MEMBRANE SITES RELATING TO CELL AGGREGATION IN DICTYOSTELIUM DISCOIDEUM

    PubMed Central

    Beug, H.; Katz, F. E.; Gerisch, G.

    1973-01-01

    Membrane interaction in aggregating cells of Dictyostelium discoideum can be blocked by univalent antibodies directed against specific membrane sites. Using a quantitative technique for measuring cell association, two classes of target sites for blocking antibodies were distinguished and their developmental dynamics studied. One class of these sites is specific for aggregation-competent cells, their quantity rising from virtually 0-level during growth, with a steep increase shortly before cell aggregation. The serological activity of these structures is species specific; they are not detectable in a nonaggregating mutant, but present in a revertant undergoing normal morphogenesis. Patterns of cell assembly in the presence of antibodies show that selective blockage of these membrane sites abolishes the preference for end-to-end association which is typical for aggregating cells. A second class of target sites is present in comparable quantities in particle fractions from both growth-phase and aggregation-competent cells. Blockage of these sites leads to aggregation patterns in which the side-by-side contacts of aggregating cells are abolished. The target sites of aggregation-inhibiting antibodies are suggested to be identical or associated with the molecular units of the cell membrane that mediate cell-to-cell contacts during aggregation. The results indicate that in one cell, two independent classes of contact sites can be simultaneously active. PMID:4631665

  3. Yersinia outer protein YopE affects the actin cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium discoideum through targeting of multiple Rho family GTPases.

    PubMed

    Vlahou, Georgia; Schmidt, Oxana; Wagner, Bettina; Uenlue, Handan; Dersch, Petra; Rivero, Francisco; Weissenmayer, Barbara A

    2009-07-14

    All human pathogenic Yersinia species share a virulence-associated type III secretion system that translocates Yersinia effector proteins into host cells to counteract infection-induced signaling responses and prevent phagocytosis. Dictyostelium discoideum has been recently used to study the effects of bacterial virulence factors produced by internalized pathogens. In this study we explored the potential of Dictyostelium as model organism for analyzing the effects of ectopically expressed Yersinia outer proteins (Yops). The Yersinia pseudotuberculosis virulence factors YopE, YopH, YopM and YopJ were expressed de novo within Dictyostelium and their effects on growth in axenic medium and on bacterial lawns were analyzed. No severe effect was observed for YopH, YopJ and YopM, but expression of YopE, which is a GTPase activating protein for Rho GTPases, was found to be highly detrimental. GFP-tagged YopE expressing cells had less conspicuous cortical actin accumulation and decreased amounts of F-actin. The actin polymerization response upon cAMP stimulation was impaired, although chemotaxis was unaffected. YopE also caused reduced uptake of yeast particles. These alterations are probably due to impaired Rac1 activation. We also found that YopE predominantly associates with intracellular membranes including the Golgi apparatus and inhibits the function of moderately overexpressed RacH. The phenotype elicited by YopE in Dictyostelium can be explained, at least in part, by inactivation of one or more Rho family GTPases. It further demonstrates that the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum can be used as an efficient and easy-to-handle model organism in order to analyze the function of a translocated GAP protein of a human pathogen.

  4. The calcineurin dependent transcription factor TacA is involved in development and the stress response of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Thewes, Sascha; Krohn, Stefanie; Schmith, Anika; Herzog, Sergej; Stach, Thomas; Weissenmayer, Barbara; Mutzel, Rupert

    2012-10-01

    Calcineurin is an important signalling protein in a plethora of Ca(2+)-regulated cellular processes. In contrast to what is known about the function of calcineurin in various organisms, information on calcineurin substrates is still limited. Here we describe the identification and characterisation of the transcription factor activated by calcineurin (TacA) in the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. TacA is a putative zinc-finger transcription factor orthologue of yeast Crz1. In resting unstimulated cells the protein is located in the cytosol and translocates to the nucleus in a calcineurin-dependent manner after Ca(2+)-stimulation. Nuclear export of TacA is partially dependent on GskA, the Dictyostelium orthologue of mammalian GSK3. The expression of tacA is developmentally regulated with its kinetics roughly paralleling calcineurin regulation. Silencing of tacA via RNAi leads to developmental defects and dysregulation of developmentally regulated and Ca(2+)-regulated marker genes. Additionally, TacA is involved in the stress response of D. discoideum during development in a separate pathway to the well-known stress response in Dictyostelium via STATc. Finally we provide evidence that TacA is not only an orthologue of yeast Crz1 but also functionally related to mammalian NFAT.

  5. Genetic Diversity in Cellular Slime Molds: Allozyme Electrophoresis and a Monoclonal Antibody Reveal Cryptic Species among Dictyostelium discoideum Strains

    PubMed Central

    Briscoe, David A.; Gooley, Andrew A.; Bernstein, R. L.; McKay, George M.; Williams, Keith L.

    1987-01-01

    Cellular slime molds have been classified on the basis of a small number of descriptive criteria such as fruiting body color and morphology, and, in heterothallic species, by assignment to compatible mating groups. However, some isolates which are morphologically classified as conspecific do not fall into a simple mating-type classification; for example some are asexual or homothallic. An increasing interest in inter-strain genetic variation in studies of development and simple behavior has led us to reassess genetic relationships among a number of frequently used isolates. Allozyme electrophoresis of 16 soluble enzymes and use of a monoclonal antibody show that there is relatively little genetic diversity among sexually competent Dictyostelium discoideum isolates, despite considerable variation in geographic origin and time since isolation in the laboratory. In contrast a pair of asexual strains and each of two homothallic strains are genetically quite distinct and differ sufficiently from each other, and from sexually competent isolates, to warrant their recognition as separate species. There are probably four biological species represented in the supposedly D. discoideum isolates studied. This heterogeneity extends to other cellular slime mold species. Each of three isolates of Dictyostelium purpureum is genetically distinct from the others. Limited analysis of other cellular slime molds indicates that the generic distinction of Dictyostelium and Polysphondylium must be questioned. This study emphasizes that caution should be applied in classifying simple organisms on morphological criteria. PMID:17246401

  6. Novel zinc protease gene isolated from Dictyostelium discoideum is structurally related to mammalian leukotriene A4 hydrolase.

    PubMed

    Fan, D; Hou, L S

    2015-12-09

    The allantoicase (allC) gene of Dictyostelium discoideum allC RNAi mutant strain was silenced using the RNA interference technique. The mutant strain is motile, aggregated, and could not undergo further morphological development. The growth rate is high and the cells show a shortened cell cycle comparing with wild-type D. discoideum. However, the mechanisms regarding these actions remain unclear. mRNA differential display was used in this study to identify genetic differences. A novel D. discoideum gene (GenBank accession number: KC759140) encoding a new zinc protease was cloned. The amino acid sequence of the novel gene exhibited a conserved zinc-binding domain (HEX2HX18E) that allowed its classification into the M1 family of metallopeptidases. The gene encoded a 345-amino acid protein with a theoretical molecular mass of 39.69 kDa and a theoretical pI of 6.05. This protein showed strong homology with leukotriene A4 (LTA4) hydrolase of Homo sapiens (41% identity and 60% similarity at the amino acid level). By analyzing quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction data, this zinc protease gene was more highly expressed in D. discoideum allC RNAi mutant type than in wild-type KAx-3 cells during the trophophase. The novel zinc protease gene may function as an LTA4 hydrolase and contribute to the shortening of the allC RNAi mutant cell cycle.

  7. A homolog of Escherichia coli RecA in mitochondria of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Yasuna; Wakabayashi, Masayuki; Nakamura, Shogo; Kodaira, Ken-ichi; Shinohara, Hiroaki; Yasukawa, Hiro

    2004-05-04

    The cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum expresses a gene encoding a 452-amino-acid polypeptide that is 47% identical to Escherichia coli RecA. A recA-deficient E. coli, JE6651, was transformed by pYSN1, which was designed to express the truncated form of the D. discoideum gene, and used in suppression assays. The viability of the transformant, JE6651(pYSN1), increased following UV irradiation or mitomycin C treatment. Phage lambda (red(-) gam(-)), which required RecA activity for DNA packaging, formed plaques on a lawn of JE6651(pYSN1). These results indicate that the gene product has a DNA recombination activity. Fluorescence of D. discoideum protein fused with GFP was detected in mitochondria. The gene disruption mutant was hypersensitive to UV-light (254nm), mitomycin C and H(2)O(2), indicating that D. discoideum recA is important for survival following exposure to DNA damaging agents.

  8. A membrane cytoskeleton from Dictyostelium discoideum. I. Identification and partial characterization of an actin-binding activity

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum plasma membranes isolated by each of three procedures bind F-actin. The interactions between these membranes and actin are examined by a novel application of falling ball viscometry. Treating the membranes as multivalent actin-binding particles analogous to divalent actin-gelation factors, we observe large increases in viscosity (actin cross-linking) when membranes of depleted actin and myosin are incubated with rabbit skeletal muscle F-actin. Pre- extraction of peripheral membrane proteins with chaotropes or the inclusion of Triton X-100 during the assay does not appreciably diminish this actin cross-linking activity. Lipid vesicles, heat- denatured membranes, proteolyzed membranes, or membranes containing endogenous actin show minimal actin cross-linking activity. Heat- denatured, but not proteolyzed, membranes regain activity when assayed in the presence of Triton X-100. Thus, integral membrane proteins appear to be responsible for some or all of the actin cross-linking activity of D. discoideum membranes. In the absence of MgATP, Triton X- 100 extraction of isolated D. discoideum membranes results in a Triton- insoluble residue composed of actin, myosin, and associated membrane proteins. The inclusion of MgATP before and during Triton extraction greatly diminishes the amount of protein in the Triton-insoluble residue without appreciably altering its composition. Our results suggest the existence of a protein complex stabilized by actin and/or myosin (membrane cytoskeleton) associated with the D. discoideum plasma membrane. PMID:6894148

  9. Curcumin inhibits development and cell adhesion in Dictyostelium discoideum: Implications for YakA signaling and GST enzyme function.

    PubMed

    Garige, Mamatha; Walters, Eric

    2015-11-13

    The molecular basis for nutraceutical properties of the polyphenol curcumin (Curcuma longa, Turmeric) is complex, affecting multiple factors that regulate cell signaling and homeostasis. Here, we report the effect of curcumin on cellular and developmental mechanisms in the eukaryotic model, Dictyostelium discoideum. Dictyostelium proliferation was inhibited in the presence of curcumin, which also suppressed the prestarvation marker, discoidin I, members of the yakA-mediated developmental signaling pathway, and expression of the extracellular matrix/cell adhesion proteins (DdCAD and csA). This resulted in delayed chemotaxis, adhesion, and development of the organism. In contrast to the inhibitory effects on developmental genes, curcumin induced gstA gene expression, overall GST activity, and generated production of reactive oxygen species. These studies expand our knowledge of developmental and biochemical signaling influenced by curcumin, and lends greater consideration of GST enzyme function in eukaryotic cell signaling, development, and differentiation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Curcumin inhibits development and cell adhesion in Dictyostelium discoideum: Implications for YakA signaling and GST enzyme function

    SciTech Connect

    Garige, Mamatha; Walters, Eric

    2015-11-13

    The molecular basis for nutraceutical properties of the polyphenol curcumin (Curcuma longa, Turmeric) is complex, affecting multiple factors that regulate cell signaling and homeostasis. Here, we report the effect of curcumin on cellular and developmental mechanisms in the eukaryotic model, Dictyostelium discoideum. Dictyostelium proliferation was inhibited in the presence of curcumin, which also suppressed the prestarvation marker, discoidin I, members of the yakA-mediated developmental signaling pathway, and expression of the extracellular matrix/cell adhesion proteins (DdCAD and csA). This resulted in delayed chemotaxis, adhesion, and development of the organism. In contrast to the inhibitory effects on developmental genes, curcumin induced gstA gene expression, overall GST activity, and generated production of reactive oxygen species. These studies expand our knowledge of developmental and biochemical signaling influenced by curcumin, and lends greater consideration of GST enzyme function in eukaryotic cell signaling, development, and differentiation.

  11. Insertion of transformation vector DNA into different chromosomal sites of Dictyostelium discoideum as determined by pulse field electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Cole, R A; Williams, K L

    1988-06-10

    Chromosomes of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum were fractionated on three pulse field gel electrophoresis systems (pulse field, orthogonal field and C.H.E.F. (Contour-clamped Homogeneous Electric Fields] into a series of 13 bands ranging from 0.1 Mb to over 2 Mb in size. Since this organism has only seven chromosomes (estimated to be 1-10 Mb), and -90 copies of an 88-kilobase linear ribosomal DNA molecule (14% of genome), it was apparent that not all of these bands were whole chromosomes. However these bands were reproducibly obtained with the cell preparation used. They fell into three categories: i) four large poorly resolved DNA molecules (-2 Mb in size) which represent very large fragments or intact chromosomes, ii) eight faint bands ranging from 0.1 Mb to 2 Mb, iii) a prominent band in the apparent size range of about 0.15 Mb. Cloned Fragment V of an EcoR1 digest of the ribosomal DNA, hybridized to the 0.15 Mb band indicating it contained the linear ribosomal DNA. This chromosomal banding pattern was used to examine the stability and location of vector DNA in 16 transformed strains of D. discoideum. Each transformed strain was initially selected on the basis of G418 resistance with an integrating vector containing pBR322 sequences. Eleven transformants still carried pBR322 sequences after more than 60 generations of growth without selection on G418. All four strains transformed with constructs containing regions of the D. discoideum plasmid Ddp1 had lost their pBR322 insert, indicating that integration of Dictyostelium plasmid DNA into chromosomes leads to instability. Orthogonal field electrophoresis of the eleven strains still carrying pBR322 sequences revealed at least seven different integrating sites for the transforming DNA. We conclude that these vectors have many possible sites of integration in the D. discoideum genome.

  12. Characterization of a 1,4-{beta}-D-glucan synthase from Dictyostelium discoideum. Progress report, May 1990--January 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Blanton, R.L.

    1992-01-15

    Various aspects of research concerning Dictyostelium discoideum are presented. The initial focus of this project was upon: the characterization of potential probes for the cellulose synthase (antibody and nucleic acid), the determination of the cultural induction conditions of cellulose synthesis, the solubilization of the enzyme activity, the development of a non-inhibitory disruption buffer, the generation and isolation of mutant strains deficient in cellulose synthesis, and the development of the capability to determine the degree of polymerization of the in vitro product. I have briefly summarized our most significant findings with only selected data sets being shown in this report in the interest of brevity.

  13. Effects of time-variant extremely low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) on cholinesterase activity in Dictyostelium discoideum (Protista).

    PubMed

    Amaroli, Andrea; Trielli, Francesca; Bianco, Bruno; Giordano, Stefano; Moggia, Elsa; Corrado, Maria U Delmonte

    2005-12-15

    Recently, we detected propionylcholinesterase (PrChE) activity in single-cell amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum using cytochemical, electrophoretic, and spectrophotometric methods. The involvement of this enzyme activity in cell-cell and cell-environment interactions was suggested. In this work, we found that exposure of single-cell amoebae to an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) of 300 microT, 50 Hz, from 1 h up to 48 h at 21 +/- 1 degrees C affected PrChE activity.

  14. Effects of medicinal compounds on the differentiation of the eukaryotic microorganism dictyostelium discoideum: can this model be used as a screening test for reproductive toxicity in humans?

    PubMed

    Dannat, K; Tillner, J; Winckler, T; Weiss, M; Eger, K; Dingermann, T

    2003-03-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum is a single-cell, eukaryotic microorganism that can undergo multicellular development in order to produce dormant spores. We investigated the capacity of D. discoideum to be used as a rapid screening system for potential developmental toxicity of compounds under development as pharmaceuticals. We used a set of four transgenic D. discoideum strains that expressed a reporter gene under the control of promoters that are active at certain time periods and in distinct cell types during D. discoideum development. We found that teratogens such as valproic acid, tretinoin, or thalidomide interfered to various extents with D. discoideum development, and had different effects on prestalk and prespore cell-specific reporter gene expression. Phenytoin was inactive in this assay, which may point to limitations in metabolization of the compound in Dictyostelium required to exert developmental toxicity. D. discoideum cell culture is cheap and easy to handle compared to mammalian cell cultures or animal teratogenicity models. Although the Dictyostelium-based assay described in this report may not securely predict the teratogenic potential of these drugs in humans, this organism may be qualified for rapid large-scale screenings of synthetic compounds under development as new pharmaceuticals for their potential to interfere with developmental processes and thus help to reduce the amount of teratogenicity tests in animal models.

  15. How many is enough? Exploring the myosin repertoire in the model eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Soldati, T; Geissler, H; Schwarz, E C

    1999-01-01

    The cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells is a very complex milieu and unraveling how its unique cytoarchitecture is achieved and maintained is a central theme in modern cell biology. It is crucial to understand how organelles and macro-complexes of RNA and/or proteins are transported to and/or maintained at their specific cellular locations. The importance of filamentous-actin-directed myosin-powered cargo transport was only recently realized, and after an initial explosion in the identification of new molecules, the field is now concentrating on their functional dissection. Direct connections of myosins to a variety of cellular tasks are now slowly emerging, such as in cytokinesis, phagocytosis, endocytosis, polarized secretion and exocytosis, axonal transport, etc. Unconventional myosins have been identified in a wide variety of organisms, making the presence of actin and myosins a hallmark of eukaryotism. The genome of S. cerevisiae encodes only five myosins, whereas a mammalian cell has the capacity to express between two and three dozen myosins. Why is it so crucial to arrive at this final census? The main questions that we would like to discuss are the following. How many distinct myosin-powered functions are carried out in a typical higher eukaryote? Or, in other words, what is the minimal set of myosins essential to accomplish the multitude of tasks related to motility and intracellular dynamics in a multicellular organism? And also, as a corollary, what is the degree of functional redundancy inside a given myosin class? In that respect, the choice of a model organism suitable for such an investigation is more crucial than ever. Here we argue that Dictyostelium discoideum is affirming its position as an ideal system of intermediate complexity to study myosin-powered trafficking and is or will soon become the second eukaryote for which complete knowledge of the whole repertoire of myosins is available.

  16. Emerging models for DNA repair: Dictyostelium discoideum as a model for nonhomologous end-joining.

    PubMed

    Pears, Catherine J; Lakin, Nicholas D

    2014-05-01

    DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are a particularly cytotoxic variety of DNA lesion that can be repaired by homologous recombination (HR) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). HR utilises sequences homologous to the damage DNA template to facilitate repair. In contrast, NHEJ does not require homologous sequences for repair but instead functions by directly re-joining DNA ends. These pathways are critical to resolve DSBs generated intentionally during processes such as meiotic and site-specific recombination. However, they are also utilised to resolve potentially pathological DSBs generated by mutagens and errors during DNA replication. The importance of DSB repair is underscored by the findings that defects in these pathways results in chromosome instability that contributes to a variety of disease states including malignancy. The general principles of NHEJ are conserved in eukaryotes. As such, relatively simple model organisms have been instrumental in identifying components of these pathways and providing a mechanistic understanding of repair that has subsequently been applied to vertebrates. However, certain components of the NHEJ pathway are absent or show limited conservation in the most commonly used invertebrate models exploited to study DNA repair. Recently, however, it has become apparent that vertebrate DNA repair pathway components, including those involved in NHEJ, are unusually conserved in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Traditionally, this genetically tractable organism has been exploited to study the molecular basis of cell type specification, cell motility and chemotaxis. Here we discuss the use of this organism as an additional model to study DNA repair, with specific reference to NHEJ. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Regulation of Spatiotemporal Patterns by Biological Variability: General Principles and Applications to Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Grace, Miriam; Hütt, Marc-Thorsten

    2015-01-01

    Spatiotemporal patterns often emerge from local interactions in a self-organizing fashion. In biology, the resulting patterns are also subject to the influence of the systematic differences between the system’s constituents (biological variability). This regulation of spatiotemporal patterns by biological variability is the topic of our review. We discuss several examples of correlations between cell properties and the self-organized spatiotemporal patterns, together with their relevance for biology. Our guiding, illustrative example will be spiral waves of cAMP in a colony of Dictyostelium discoideum cells. Analogous processes take place in diverse situations (such as cardiac tissue, where spiral waves occur in potentially fatal ventricular fibrillation) so a deeper understanding of this additional layer of self-organized pattern formation would be beneficial to a wide range of applications. One of the most striking differences between pattern-forming systems in physics or chemistry and those in biology is the potential importance of variability. In the former, system components are essentially identical with random fluctuations determining the details of the self-organization process and the resulting patterns. In biology, due to variability, the properties of potentially very few cells can have a driving influence on the resulting asymptotic collective state of the colony. Variability is one means of implementing a few-element control on the collective mode. Regulatory architectures, parameters of signaling cascades, and properties of structure formation processes can be "reverse-engineered" from observed spatiotemporal patterns, as different types of regulation and forms of interactions between the constituents can lead to markedly different correlations. The power of this biology-inspired view of pattern formation lies in building a bridge between two scales: the patterns as a collective state of a very large number of cells on the one hand, and the internal

  18. Cell behavior in Dictyostelium discoideum: preaggregation response to localized cyclic AMP pulses

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    The motion of cells in the aggregation phase of Dictyostelium discoideum development is complex. To probe its mechanisms we applied precisely timed (+/- 1 s) and positioned (+/-2 micrometers) pulses of cyclic AMP to fields of cells of moderate density using a micropipette. We recorded cell behavior by time lapse microcinematography and extracted cell motion data from the film with our Galatea computer system. Analysis of these data reveals: (a) Chemotaxis lasts only about as long as the cyclic AMP signal; in particular, brief pulses (approximately 5 s) do not induce chemotaxis. (b) Chemotactic competence increases gradually from within an hour after the initiation of development (starvation) to full competence at approximately 15 h when aggregation begins under our conditions. (c) Cell motion reverses rapidly (within 20 s) when the external gradient is reversed. There is no refractory period for motion. We present a new description of the process of aggregation consistent with our result and other recent findings. (d) The behavioral response to cyclic AMP includes a phenomenon we call "cringing." In a prototypical cringe the cell speed drops within 3 s after a brief cyclic AMP stimulus, and the cell stops and rounds and then resumes motion after 25 s. (e) The development of the speed response in cringing as the cells age closely parallels the development of the cyclic AMP-induced light-scattering response of cells in suspension. (f) Cringing occurs in natural populations during weak oriented movement. The computerized analysis of cell behavior proves to be a powerful technique which can reveal significant phenomena that are not apparent to the eye even after repeated examination of the film. PMID:6282894

  19. Chemoattraction and chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum: myxamoeba cannot read spatial gradients of cyclic adenosine monophosphate.

    PubMed

    Vicker, M G; Schill, W; Drescher, K

    1984-06-01

    Myxamoebae of the morphogenetic cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum are thought to be able to accurately read and respond to directional information in spatial gradients of cyclic AMP. We examined the spatial and temporal mechanisms proposed for chemotaxis by comparing the behavior of spreading or evenly distributed cell populations after exposure to well-defined spatial gradients. The effects of gradient generation on cells were avoided by using predeveloped gradients. Qualitatively different responses were obtained using (a) isotropic, (b) static spatial, or (c) temporal (impulse) gradients in a simple chamber of penetrable micropore filters. We simulated models of chemotaxis and chemokinesis to aid our interpretations. The attractive and locomotory responses of populations were maximally stimulated by 0.05 microM cyclic AMP, provided that cellular phosphodiesterase was inhibited. But a single impulse of cyclic AMP during gradient development caused a greater and qualitatively different attraction. Attraction in spatial gradients was only transient, in that populations eventually developed a random distribution when confined to a narrow territory. Populations never accumulated nor lost their random distribution even in extremely steep spatial gradients. Attraction in spatial gradients was inducible only in spreading populations, not randomly distributed ones. Thus, spatial gradients effect biased-random locomotion: i.e., chemokinesis without adaptation. Cells cannot read gradients; the reaction of the cells is stochastic. Spatial gradients do not cause chemotaxis, which probably requires a sharp stimulant concentration increase (a temporal gradient) as a pulse or impulse. The results also bear on concepts of how embryonic cells might be able to decipher the positional information in a morphogen spatial gradient during development.

  20. Chemoattraction and chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum: myxamoeba cannot read spatial gradients of cyclic adenosine monophosphate

    PubMed Central

    1984-01-01

    Myxamoebae of the morphogenetic cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum are thought to be able to accurately read and respond to directional information in spatial gradients of cyclic AMP. We examined the spatial and temporal mechanisms proposed for chemotaxis by comparing the behavior of spreading or evenly distributed cell populations after exposure to well-defined spatial gradients. The effects of gradient generation on cells were avoided by using predeveloped gradients. Qualitatively different responses were obtained using (a) isotropic, (b) static spatial, or (c) temporal (impulse) gradients in a simple chamber of penetrable micropore filters. We simulated models of chemotaxis and chemokinesis to aid our interpretations. The attractive and locomotory responses of populations were maximally stimulated by 0.05 microM cyclic AMP, provided that cellular phosphodiesterase was inhibited. But a single impulse of cyclic AMP during gradient development caused a greater and qualitatively different attraction. Attraction in spatial gradients was only transient, in that populations eventually developed a random distribution when confined to a narrow territory. Populations never accumulated nor lost their random distribution even in extremely steep spatial gradients. Attraction in spatial gradients was inducible only in spreading populations, not randomly distributed ones. Thus, spatial gradients effect biased-random locomotion: i.e., chemokinesis without adaptation. Cells cannot read gradients; the reaction of the cells is stochastic. Spatial gradients do not cause chemotaxis, which probably requires a sharp stimulant concentration increase (a temporal gradient) as a pulse or impulse. The results also bear on concepts of how embryonic cells might be able to decipher the positional information in a morphogen spatial gradient during development. PMID:6327727

  1. The cytohesin paralog Sec7 of Dictyostelium discoideum is required for phagocytosis and cell motility

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Dictyostelium harbors several paralogous Sec7 genes that encode members of three subfamilies of the Sec7 superfamily of guanine nucleotide exchange factors. One of them is the cytohesin family represented by three members in D. discoideum, SecG, Sec7 and a further protein distinguished by several transmembrane domains. Cytohesins are characterized by a Sec7-PH tandem domain and have roles in cell adhesion and migration. Results We study here Sec7. In vitro its PH domain bound preferentially to phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate (PI(3,4)P2), phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PI(3,4,5)P3). When following the distribution of GFP-Sec7 in vivo we observed the protein in the cytosol and at the plasma membrane. Strikingly, when cells formed pseudopods, macropinosomes or phagosomes, GFP-Sec7 was conspicuously absent from areas of the plasma membrane which were involved in these processes. Mutant cells lacking Sec7 exhibited an impaired phagocytosis and showed significantly reduced speed and less persistence during migration. Cellular properties associated with mammalian cytohesins like cell-cell and cell-substratum adhesion were not altered. Proteins with roles in membrane trafficking and signal transduction have been identified as putative interaction partners consistent with the data obtained from mutant analysis. Conclusions Sec7 is a cytosolic component and is associated with the plasma membrane in a pattern distinctly different from the accumulation of PI(3,4,5)P3. Mutant analysis reveals that loss of the protein affects cellular processes that involve membrane flow and the actin cytoskeleton. PMID:23915312

  2. Cell behavior in Dictyostelium discoideum: preaggregation response to localized cyclic AMP pulses.

    PubMed

    Futrelle, R P; Traut, J; McKee, W G

    1982-03-01

    The motion of cells in the aggregation phase of Dictyostelium discoideum development is complex. To probe its mechanisms we applied precisely timed (+/- 1 s) and positioned (+/-2 micrometers) pulses of cyclic AMP to fields of cells of moderate density using a micropipette. We recorded cell behavior by time lapse microcinematography and extracted cell motion data from the film with our Galatea computer system. Analysis of these data reveals: (a) Chemotaxis lasts only about as long as the cyclic AMP signal; in particular, brief pulses (approximately 5 s) do not induce chemotaxis. (b) Chemotactic competence increases gradually from within an hour after the initiation of development (starvation) to full competence at approximately 15 h when aggregation begins under our conditions. (c) Cell motion reverses rapidly (within 20 s) when the external gradient is reversed. There is no refractory period for motion. We present a new description of the process of aggregation consistent with our result and other recent findings. (d) The behavioral response to cyclic AMP includes a phenomenon we call "cringing." In a prototypical cringe the cell speed drops within 3 s after a brief cyclic AMP stimulus, and the cell stops and rounds and then resumes motion after 25 s. (e) The development of the speed response in cringing as the cells age closely parallels the development of the cyclic AMP-induced light-scattering response of cells in suspension. (f) Cringing occurs in natural populations during weak oriented movement. The computerized analysis of cell behavior proves to be a powerful technique which can reveal significant phenomena that are not apparent to the eye even after repeated examination of the film.

  3. Ammonium phosphate in sori of Dictyostelium discoideum promotes spore dormancy through stimulation of the osmosensor ACG.

    PubMed

    Cotter, D A; Dunbar, A J; Buconjic, S D; Wheldrake, J F

    1999-08-01

    The sori of Dictyostelium discoideum (strains SG1, SG2, NC4 and V12) contained more than 100 mM ammonium phosphate. Glutamine synthetase (GS), which could remove ammonia from the sorus, was not present in 2-d-old dormant spores but enzyme activity returned to vegetative levels after spore germination. Based on mRNA blotting, the activity of this enzyme in germinating spores appeared to be transcriptionally controlled. At the same time that GS activity was increasing, ammonia was released from germinating spores. Exogenous ammonium ions at a concentration of 28 mM did not block germination nor modulate GS activity in nascent amoebae. It was concluded that the transcription and translation of GS is not environmentally regulated but is an integral part of the germination process, preparing nascent amoebae for vegetative growth. An exogenous concentration of 69 mM ammonium phosphate could maintain dormancy in spores of strains SG1 and SG2 for at least a week in the absence of any other inhibitory component from the sori. The inhibition was reversible at any time either by dilution or by washing the spores free of the ammonium ion. Spores of strain acg- were not inhibited by 100 mM ammonium phosphate. A model is presented in which GS in prespore cells serves as a sink for ammonia to allow the osmotically sensitive adenylyl cyclase aggregation protein (ACA) to activate protein kinase A (PKA) to induce fruiting-body formation. After fruiting-body formation is complete, the decline in GS and ACA activities in developing spores is offset by their replacement with the osmotically and ammonia-stimulated adenylyl cyclase osmosensor for germination (ACG). Ammonia and discadenine may act as separate signals to synergistically activate PKA by stimulating ACG activity while inhibiting cAMP phosphodiestrase activity in fully dormant spores.

  4. Translational control of ribosomal protein synthesis during early Dictyostelium discoideum development.

    PubMed Central

    Steel, L F; Jacobson, A

    1987-01-01

    Throughout the developmental program of Dictyostelium discoideum there are substantial changes in the rates of both ribosome utilization and rRNA transcription and processing. We examined the regulation of ribosomal protein (r-protein) gene expression and found that, at the start of development, expression of these genes was drastically and specifically reduced by a block to translational initiation. An apparently separate event signals a sudden decrease in the relative amount of r-protein mRNA at about 10 h of development, a time when aggregated amoebae are forming tight cell-cell contacts. For the first 9 h of development, the relative amount of r-protein mRNA remained essentially unchanged and comparable to levels detected in growing cells. While the r-protein mRNAs were almost fully loaded on polysomes during vegetative growth, they were specifically excluded from polysomes at the start of development. The translational block was not the result of irreversible structural changes which inactivate the r-protein mRNAs since they remained translatable both in vitro, in wheat germ extracts, and in vivo, where they were recruited onto polysomes in the presence of the elongation inhibitor cycloheximide. In addition, precise measurements of poly(A) tail lengths on individual hybrid-selected mRNA species showed that there is no difference in the poly(A) tail length of r-protein mRNA isolated from growing cells and 1-h developing cells. Therefore, changes in translational efficiency cannot be attributed to cleavage of poly(A) tails. Images PMID:2882416

  5. Clathrin heavy chain functions in sorting and secretion of lysosomal enzymes in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    The clathrin heavy chain is a major component of clathrin-coated vesicles that function in selective membrane traffic in eukaryotic cells. We disrupted the clathrin heavy chain gene (chcA) in Dictyostelium discoideum to generate a stable clathrin heavy chain- deficient cell line. Measurement of pinocytosis in the clathrin-minus mutant revealed a four-to five-fold deficiency in the internalization of fluid-phase markers. Once internalized, these markers recycled to the cell surface of mutant cells at wild-type rates. We also explored the involvement of clathrin heavy chain in the trafficking of lysosomal enzymes. Pulse chase analysis revealed that clathrin-minus cells processed most alpha-mannosidase to mature forms, however, approximately 20-25% of the precursor molecules remained uncleaved, were missorted, and were rapidly secreted by the constitutive secretory pathway. The remaining intracellular alpha-mannosidase was successfully targeted to mature lysosomes. Standard secretion assays showed that the rate of secretion of alpha-mannosidase was significantly less in clathrin-minus cells compared to control cells in growth medium. Interestingly, the secretion rates of another lysosomal enzyme, acid phosphatase, were similar in clathrin-minus and wild-type cells. Like wild-type cells, clathrin-minus mutants responded to starvation conditions with increased lysosomal enzyme secretion. Our study of the mutant cells provide in vivo evidence for roles for the clathrin heavy chain in (a) the internalization of fluid from the plasma membrane; (b) sorting of hydrolase precursors from the constitutive secretory pathway to the lysosomal pathway; and (c) secretion of mature hydrolases from lysosomes to the extracellular space. PMID:8034739

  6. Relevant Genes Linked to Virulence Are Required for Salmonella Typhimurium to Survive Intracellularly in the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Riquelme, Sebastián; Varas, Macarena; Valenzuela, Camila; Velozo, Paula; Chahin, Nicolás; Aguilera, Paulina; Sabag, Andrea; Labra, Bayron; Álvarez, Sergio A; Chávez, Francisco P; Santiviago, Carlos A

    2016-01-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has proven to be a useful model for studying relevant aspects of the host-pathogen interaction. In this work, D. discoideum was used as a model to study the ability of Salmonella Typhimurium to survive in amoebae and to evaluate the contribution of selected genes in this process. To do this, we performed infection assays using axenic cultures of D. discoideum co-cultured with wild-type S. Typhimurium and/or defined mutant strains. Our results confirmed that wild-type S. Typhimurium is able to survive intracellularly in D. discoideum. In contrast, mutants ΔaroA and ΔwaaL are defective in intracellular survival in this amoeba. Next, we included in our study a group of mutants in genes directly linked to Salmonella virulence. Of note, mutants ΔinvA, ΔssaD, ΔclpV, and ΔphoPQ also showed an impaired ability to survive intracellularly in D. discoideum. This indicates that S. Typhimurium requires a functional biosynthetic pathway of aromatic compounds, a lipopolysaccharide containing a complete O-antigen, the type III secretion systems (T3SS) encoded in SPI-1 and SPI-2, the type VI secretion system (T6SS) encoded in SPI-6 and PhoP/PhoQ two-component system to survive in D. discoideum. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the requirement of O-antigen and T6SS in the survival of Salmonella within amoebae. In addition, mutants ΔinvA and ΔssaD were internalized in higher numbers than the wild-type strain during competitive infections, suggesting that S. Typhimurium requires the T3SS encoded in SPI-1 and SPI-2 to evade phagocytosis by D. discoideum. Altogether, these results indicate that S. Typhimurium exploits a common set of genes and molecular mechanisms to survive within amoeba and animal host cells. The use of D. discoideum as a model for host-pathogen interactions will allow us to discover the gene repertoire used by Salmonella to survive inside the amoeba and to study the cellular processes that are affected

  7. Relevant Genes Linked to Virulence Are Required for Salmonella Typhimurium to Survive Intracellularly in the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Riquelme, Sebastián; Varas, Macarena; Valenzuela, Camila; Velozo, Paula; Chahin, Nicolás; Aguilera, Paulina; Sabag, Andrea; Labra, Bayron; Álvarez, Sergio A.; Chávez, Francisco P.; Santiviago, Carlos A.

    2016-01-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has proven to be a useful model for studying relevant aspects of the host-pathogen interaction. In this work, D. discoideum was used as a model to study the ability of Salmonella Typhimurium to survive in amoebae and to evaluate the contribution of selected genes in this process. To do this, we performed infection assays using axenic cultures of D. discoideum co-cultured with wild-type S. Typhimurium and/or defined mutant strains. Our results confirmed that wild-type S. Typhimurium is able to survive intracellularly in D. discoideum. In contrast, mutants ΔaroA and ΔwaaL are defective in intracellular survival in this amoeba. Next, we included in our study a group of mutants in genes directly linked to Salmonella virulence. Of note, mutants ΔinvA, ΔssaD, ΔclpV, and ΔphoPQ also showed an impaired ability to survive intracellularly in D. discoideum. This indicates that S. Typhimurium requires a functional biosynthetic pathway of aromatic compounds, a lipopolysaccharide containing a complete O-antigen, the type III secretion systems (T3SS) encoded in SPI-1 and SPI-2, the type VI secretion system (T6SS) encoded in SPI-6 and PhoP/PhoQ two-component system to survive in D. discoideum. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the requirement of O-antigen and T6SS in the survival of Salmonella within amoebae. In addition, mutants ΔinvA and ΔssaD were internalized in higher numbers than the wild-type strain during competitive infections, suggesting that S. Typhimurium requires the T3SS encoded in SPI-1 and SPI-2 to evade phagocytosis by D. discoideum. Altogether, these results indicate that S. Typhimurium exploits a common set of genes and molecular mechanisms to survive within amoeba and animal host cells. The use of D. discoideum as a model for host–pathogen interactions will allow us to discover the gene repertoire used by Salmonella to survive inside the amoeba and to study the cellular processes that are affected

  8. Whole Genome Sequencing of Mutation Accumulation Lines Reveals a Low Mutation Rate in the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Saxer, Gerda; Havlak, Paul; Fox, Sara A.; Quance, Michael A.; Gupta, Sharu; Fofanov, Yuriy; Strassmann, Joan E.; Queller, David C.

    2012-01-01

    Spontaneous mutations play a central role in evolution. Despite their importance, mutation rates are some of the most elusive parameters to measure in evolutionary biology. The combination of mutation accumulation (MA) experiments and whole-genome sequencing now makes it possible to estimate mutation rates by directly observing new mutations at the molecular level across the whole genome. We performed an MA experiment with the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum and sequenced the genomes of three randomly chosen lines using high-throughput sequencing to estimate the spontaneous mutation rate in this model organism. The mitochondrial mutation rate of 6.76×10−9, with a Poisson confidence interval of 4.1×10−9 − 9.5×10−9, per nucleotide per generation is slightly lower than estimates for other taxa. The mutation rate estimate for the nuclear DNA of 2.9×10−11, with a Poisson confidence interval ranging from 7.4×10−13 to 1.6×10−10, is the lowest reported for any eukaryote. These results are consistent with low microsatellite mutation rates previously observed in D. discoideum and low levels of genetic variation observed in wild D. discoideum populations. In addition, D. discoideum has been shown to be quite resistant to DNA damage, which suggests an efficient DNA-repair mechanism that could be an adaptation to life in soil and frequent exposure to intracellular and extracellular mutagenic compounds. The social aspect of the life cycle of D. discoideum and a large portion of the genome under relaxed selection during vegetative growth could also select for a low mutation rate. This hypothesis is supported by a significantly lower mutation rate per cell division in multicellular eukaryotes compared with unicellular eukaryotes. PMID:23056439

  9. Structure of DRE, a retrotransposable element which integrates with position specificity upstream of Dictyostelium discoideum tRNA genes.

    PubMed Central

    Marschalek, R; Hofmann, J; Schumann, G; Gösseringer, R; Dingermann, T

    1992-01-01

    Different Dictyostelium discoideum strains contain between 2 and 200 copies of a retrotransposable element termed DRE (Dictyostelium repetitive element). From the analysis of more than 50 elements, it can be concluded that DRE elements always occur 50 +/- 3 nucleotides upstream of tRNA genes. All analyzed clones contain DRE in a constant orientation relative to the tRNA gene, implying orientation specificity as well as position specificity. DRE contains two open reading frames which are flanked by nonidentical terminal repeats. Long terminal repeats (LTRs) are composed of three distinct modules, called A, B, and C. The tRNA gene-proximal LTR is characterized by one or multiple A modules followed by a single B module (AnB). With respect to the distal LTR, two different subforms of DRE have been isolated. The majority of isolated clones contains a distal LTR composed of a B module followed by a C module (BC), whereas the distal LTR of the other subform contains a consecutive array of a B module, a C module, a slightly altered A module, another B module, and another C module (BC.ABC). Full-length as well as smaller transcripts from DRE elements have been detected, but in comparison with the high copy number in D. discoideum strains derived from the wild-type strain NC4, transcription is rather poor. Images PMID:1309589

  10. Cloning and functional expression of UGT genes encoding sterol glucosyltransferases from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida albicans, Pichia pastoris, and Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Warnecke, D; Erdmann, R; Fahl, A; Hube, B; Müller, F; Zank, T; Zähringer, U; Heinz, E

    1999-05-07

    Sterol glucosides, typical membrane-bound lipids of many eukaryotes, are biosynthesized by a UDP-glucose:sterol glucosyltransferase (EC 2. 4.1.173). We cloned genes from three different yeasts and from Dictyostelium discoideum, the deduced amino acid sequences of which all showed similarities with plant sterol glucosyltransferases (Ugt80A1, Ugt80A2). These genes from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (UGT51 = YLR189C), Pichia pastoris (UGT51B1), Candida albicans (UGT51C1), and Dictyostelium discoideum (ugt52) were expressed in Escherichia coli. In vitro enzyme assays with cell-free extracts of the transgenic E. coli strains showed that the genes encode UDP-glucose:sterol glucosyltransferases which can use different sterols such as cholesterol, sitosterol, and ergosterol as sugar acceptors. An S. cerevisiae null mutant of UGT51 had lost its ability to synthesize sterol glucoside but exhibited normal growth under various culture conditions. Expression of either UGT51 or UGT51B1 in this null mutant under the control of a galactose-induced promoter restored sterol glucoside synthesis in vitro. Lipid extracts of these cells contained a novel glycolipid. This lipid was purified and identified as ergosterol-beta-D-glucopyranoside by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. These data prove that the cloned genes encode sterol-beta-D-glucosyltransferases and that sterol glucoside synthesis is an inherent feature of eukaryotic microorganisms.

  11. A cyanobacterial light activated adenylyl cyclase partially restores development of a Dictyostelium discoideum, adenylyl cyclase a null mutant.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhi-Hui; Raffelberg, Sarah; Losi, Aba; Schaap, Pauline; Gärtner, Wolfgang

    2014-12-10

    A light-regulated adenylyl cyclase, mPAC, was previously identified from the cyanobacterium Microcoleus chthonoplastes PCC7420. MPAC consists of a flavin-based blue light-sensing LOV domain and a catalytic domain. In this work, we expressed mPAC in an adenylate cyclase A null mutant (aca-) of the eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum and tested to what extent light activation of mPAC could restore the cAMP-dependent developmental programme of this organism. Amoebas of Dictyostelium, a well-established model organism, generate and respond to cAMP pulses, which cause them to aggregate and construct fruiting bodies. mPAC was expressed under control of a constitutive actin-15 promoter in D. discoideum and displayed low basal adenylyl cyclase activity in darkness that was about five-fold stimulated by blue light. mPAC expression in aca- cells marginally restored aggregation and fruiting body formation in darkness. However, more and larger fruiting bodies were formed when mPAC expressing cells were incubated in light. Extending former applications of light-regulated AC, these results demonstrate that mPAC can be used to manipulate multicellular development in eukaryotes in a light dependent manner.

  12. Identification of a cyclase-associated protein (CAP) homologue in Dictyostelium discoideum and characterization of its interaction with actin.

    PubMed

    Gottwald, U; Brokamp, R; Karakesisoglou, I; Schleicher, M; Noegel, A A

    1996-02-01

    In search for novel actin binding proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum we have isolated a cDNA clone coding for a protein of approximately 50 kDa that is highly homologous to the class of adenylyl cyclase-associated proteins (CAP). In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the amino-terminal part of CAP is involved in the regulation of the adenylyl cyclase whereas the loss of the carboxyl-terminal domain results in morphological and nutritional defects. To study the interaction of Dictyostelium CAP with actin, the complete protein and its amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal domains were expressed in Escherichia coli and used in actin binding assays. CAP sequestered actin in a Ca2+ independent way. This activity was localized to the carboxyl-terminal domain. CAP and its carboxyl-terminal domain led to a fluorescence enhancement of pyrene-labeled G-actin up to 50% indicating a direct interaction, whereas the amino-terminal domain did not enhance. In polymerization as well as in viscometric assays the ability of the carboxyl-terminal domain to sequester actin and to prevent F-actin formation was approximately two times higher than that of intact CAP. The sequestering activity of full length CAP could be inhibited by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), whereas the activity of the carboxyl-terminal domain alone was not influenced, suggesting that the amino-terminal half of the protein is required for the PIP2 modulation of the CAP function. In profilin-minus cells the CAP concentration is increased by approximately 73%, indicating that CAP may compensate some profilin functions in vivo. In migrating D. discoideum cells CAP was enriched at anterior and posterior plasma membrane regions. Only a weak staining of the cytoplasm was observed. In chemotactically stimulated cells the protein was very prominent in leading fronts. The data suggest an involvement of D. discoideum CAP in microfilament reorganization near the plasma membrane in a PIP2-regulated manner.

  13. A Novel Glycolipid Biosurfactant Confers Grazing Resistance upon Pantoea ananatis BRT175 against the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Derek D. N.; Nickzad, Arvin

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Pantoea is a versatile genus of bacteria with both plant- and animal-pathogenic strains, some of which have been suggested to cause human infections. There is, however, limited knowledge on the potential determinants used for host association and pathogenesis in animal systems. In this study, we used the model host Dictyostelium discoideum to show that isolates of Pantoea ananatis exhibit differential grazing susceptibility, with some being resistant to grazing by the amoebae. We carried out a high-throughput genetic screen of one grazing-resistant isolate, P. ananatis BRT175, using the D. discoideum pathosystem to identify genes responsible for the resistance phenotype. Among the 26 candidate genes involved in grazing resistance, we identified rhlA and rhlB, which we show are involved in the biosynthesis of a biosurfactant that enables swarming motility in P. ananatis BRT175. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), the biosurfactant was shown to be a glycolipid with monohexose-C10-C10 as the primary congener. We show that this novel glycolipid biosurfactant is cytotoxic to the amoebae and is capable of compromising cellular integrity, leading to cell lysis. The production of this biosurfactant may be important for bacterial survival in the environment and could contribute to the establishment of opportunistic infections. IMPORTANCE The genetic factors used for host interaction by the opportunistic human pathogen Pantoea ananatis are largely unknown. We identified two genes that are important for the production of a biosurfactant that confers grazing resistance against the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. We show that the biosurfactant, which exhibits cytotoxicity toward the amoebae, is a glycolipid that incorporates a hexose rather than rhamnose. The production of this biosurfactant may confer a competitive advantage in the environment and could potentially contribute to the establishment of opportunistic infections. PMID

  14. Functional characterisation of parvulin-type peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase, PinA in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Haokip, Nemneineng; Naorem, Aruna

    2017-01-08

    Pin1-type parvulins are unique among PPIases that can catalyse an otherwise slow cis-trans isomerisation of phosphorylated peptide bond preceding proline in target proteins. This prolyl isomerisation process can regulate activity, stability and localisation of target proteins and thus control cellular processes like eukaryotic cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and gene regulation. Towards understanding the function of Pin1-type prolyl isomerisation in Dictyostelium discoideum, a slime mould with distinct growth and developmental phases, we identified PinA as a novel Pin1-type parvulin by its ability to complement the temperature sensitivity phenotype associated with a mutation in ESS1 in S. cerevisiae. In D. discoideum, pinA is temporally and spatially regulated during growth and development. PinA is both nuclear as well as cytoplasmic in the growing cells. We further show that loss of pinA (pinA(-)) leads to decreased growth rate, reduced spore formation and abnormal prespore-prestalk patterning. We conclude that PinA is required for normal growth as well as development in D. discoideum.

  15. Identification of a high-affinity Ca sup 2+ pump associated with endocytotic vesicles in Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Milne, J.L.; Coukell, M.B. )

    1989-11-01

    In the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, changes in free cytosolic Ca{sup 2+} are thought to regulate certain processes during cell aggregation and differentiation. To understand the mechanisms controlling free Ca{sup 2+} levels in this organism, the authors previously isolated and characterized an ATP/Mg{sup 2+}-dependent, high-affinity Ca{sup 2+} pump which appeared to be a component of inside-out plasma membrane vesicles. In this report, they demonstrate that a high-affinity Ca{sup 2+} pump, with properties virtually identical to the isolated pump, can be detected in filipin- or digitonin-permeabilized cells of Dictyostelium. Moreover, Ca{sup 2+}-pumping vesicles, which migrate on Percoll/KCl gradients like the vesicles identified earlier, can be isolated from the permeabilized cells. Results of additional experiments suggest that this intracellular Ca{sup 2+} transporter is associated with a high-capacity non-IP{sub 3}-releasable Ca{sup 2+} store which is generated by endocytosis. A possible role for this store in maintaining Ca{sup 2+} homeostasis in Dictyostelium is discussed.

  16. Characterization of a third ras gene, rasB, that is expressed throughout the growth and development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Daniel, J; Spiegelman, G B; Weeks, G

    1993-04-01

    Previous reports have indicated that the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum possesses two ras genes (rasG and rasD) and one rap gene (rap1). All three genes are developmentally regulated, with each showing a different pattern of transcription during the Dictyostelium life cycle. To establish whether there are additional ras or rap genes in Dictyostelium, we used degenerate oligonucleotide primers to the highly conserved GTP-binding domains and both ras- and rap-unique sequences to amplify products from cDNA using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). No additional rap genes were amplified, but a fragment whose nucleotide sequence predicted a novel ras gene was isolated. Using this PCR product as a probe, a full-length cDNA clone was isolated and sequenced. Its deduced amino acid sequence predicted a 197 amino acid protein that is 71% and 68% identical to RasG and RasD respectively. The new ras gene contains the conserved Ras-specific effector domain, the conserved binding site for the Ras-specific Y13-259 monoclonal antibody, and shows greater sequence similarity to the human H-Ras protein than to any other mammalian Ras protein. In view of this high level of identity to the ras gene subfamily, we have designated this gene rasB. Northern blot analysis has shown that rasB is developmentally regulated with maximum levels of a single 950-bp message detected during vegetative growth and the first 8 h of development.

  17. Dictyostelium discoideum has a highly Q/N-rich proteome and shows an unusual resilience to protein aggregation

    PubMed Central

    Malinovska, Liliana; Palm, Sandra; Gibson, Kimberley; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Alberti, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Many protein-misfolding diseases are caused by proteins carrying prion-like domains. These proteins show sequence similarity to yeast prion proteins, which can interconvert between an intrinsically disordered and an aggregated prion state. The natural presence of prions in yeast has provided important insight into disease mechanisms and cellular proteostasis. However, little is known about prions in other organisms, and it is not yet clear whether the findings in yeast can be generalized. Using bioinformatics tools, we show that Dictyostelium discoideum has the highest content of prion-like proteins of all organisms investigated to date, suggesting that its proteome has a high overall aggregation propensity. To study mechanisms regulating these proteins, we analyze the behavior of several well-characterized prion-like proteins, such as an expanded version of human huntingtin exon 1 (Q103) and the prion domain of the yeast prion protein Sup35 (NM), in D. discoideum. We find that these proteins remain soluble and are innocuous to D. discoideum, in contrast to other organisms, where they form cytotoxic cytosolic aggregates. However, when exposed to conditions that compromise molecular chaperones, these proteins aggregate and become cytotoxic. We show that the disaggregase Hsp101, a molecular chaperone of the Hsp100 family, dissolves heat-induced aggregates and promotes thermotolerance. Furthermore, prion-like proteins accumulate in the nucleus, where they are targeted by the ubiquitin–proteasome system. Our data suggest that D. discoideum has undergone specific adaptations that increase the proteostatic capacity of this organism and allow for an efficient regulation of its prion-like proteome. PMID:25941378

  18. Dictyostelium discoideum has a highly Q/N-rich proteome and shows an unusual resilience to protein aggregation.

    PubMed

    Malinovska, Liliana; Palm, Sandra; Gibson, Kimberley; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Alberti, Simon

    2015-05-19

    Many protein-misfolding diseases are caused by proteins carrying prion-like domains. These proteins show sequence similarity to yeast prion proteins, which can interconvert between an intrinsically disordered and an aggregated prion state. The natural presence of prions in yeast has provided important insight into disease mechanisms and cellular proteostasis. However, little is known about prions in other organisms, and it is not yet clear whether the findings in yeast can be generalized. Using bioinformatics tools, we show that Dictyostelium discoideum has the highest content of prion-like proteins of all organisms investigated to date, suggesting that its proteome has a high overall aggregation propensity. To study mechanisms regulating these proteins, we analyze the behavior of several well-characterized prion-like proteins, such as an expanded version of human huntingtin exon 1 (Q103) and the prion domain of the yeast prion protein Sup35 (NM), in D. discoideum. We find that these proteins remain soluble and are innocuous to D. discoideum, in contrast to other organisms, where they form cytotoxic cytosolic aggregates. However, when exposed to conditions that compromise molecular chaperones, these proteins aggregate and become cytotoxic. We show that the disaggregase Hsp101, a molecular chaperone of the Hsp100 family, dissolves heat-induced aggregates and promotes thermotolerance. Furthermore, prion-like proteins accumulate in the nucleus, where they are targeted by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Our data suggest that D. discoideum has undergone specific adaptations that increase the proteostatic capacity of this organism and allow for an efficient regulation of its prion-like proteome.

  19. The Actinome of Dictyostelium discoideum in Comparison to Actins and Actin-Related Proteins from Other Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Jayabalan M.; Fey, Petra; Ramalingam, Nagendran; Liu, Xiao I.; Rohlfs, Meino; Noegel, Angelika A.; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Glöckner, Gernot; Schleicher, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Actin belongs to the most abundant proteins in eukaryotic cells which harbor usually many conventional actin isoforms as well as actin-related proteins (Arps). To get an overview over the sometimes confusing multitude of actins and Arps, we analyzed the Dictyostelium discoideum actinome in detail and compared it with the genomes from other model organisms. The D. discoideum actinome comprises 41 actins and actin-related proteins. The genome contains 17 actin genes which most likely arose from consecutive gene duplications, are all active, in some cases developmentally regulated and coding for identical proteins (Act8-group). According to published data, the actin fraction in a D. discoideum cell consists of more than 95% of these Act8-type proteins. The other 16 actin isoforms contain a conventional actin motif profile as well but differ in their protein sequences. Seven actin genes are potential pseudogenes. A homology search of the human genome using the most typical D. discoideum actin (Act8) as query sequence finds the major actin isoforms such as cytoplasmic beta-actin as best hit. This suggests that the Act8-group represents a nearly perfect actin throughout evolution. Interestingly, limited data from D. fasciculatum, a more ancient member among the social amoebae, show different relationships between conventional actins. The Act8-type isoform is most conserved throughout evolution. Modeling of the putative structures suggests that the majority of the actin-related proteins is functionally unrelated to canonical actin. The data suggest that the other actin variants are not necessary for the cytoskeleton itself but rather regulators of its dynamical features or subunits in larger protein complexes. PMID:18612387

  20. Isolation of two novel ras genes in Dictyostelium discoideum; evidence for a complex, developmentally regulated ras gene subfamily.

    PubMed

    Daniel, J; Bush, J; Cardelli, J; Spiegelman, G B; Weeks, G

    1994-02-01

    In Dictyostelium discoideum, three ras genes (rasD, rasG and rasB) and one ras-related gene (rap1) have been previously isolated and characterized, and the deduced amino acid sequence of their predicted protein products share at least 50% sequence identity with the human H-Ras protein. We have now cloned and characterized two additional members of the ras gene subfamily in Dictyostelium, rasC and rasS. These genes are developmentally regulated and unlike the previously isolated Dictyostelium ras genes, maximum levels of their transcripts were detected during aggregation, suggesting that the encoded proteins have distinct functions during aggregation. The rasC cDNA encodes a 189 amino acid protein that is 65% identical to the Dictyostelium RasD and RasG proteins and 56% identical to the human H-Ras protein. The predicted 194 amino acid gene product encoded by rasS is 60% identical to the Dictyostelium RasD and RasG proteins and 54% identical to the human H-Ras protein. Whereas RasD, RasG, RasB and Rap1 are totally conserved in their putative effector domains relative to H-Ras, RasC and RasS have single amino acid substitutions in their effector domains, consistent with the idea that they have unique functions. In RasC, aspartic acid-38 has been replaced by asparagine (D38N), and in RasS, isoleucine-36 has been replaced by leucine (I36L). In addition, both proteins have several differences in the effector-proximal domain, a domain which is believed to play a role in Ras target activation. In RasC, there is a single conservative amino acid change in the canonical sequence of the binding site for the Ras-specific monoclonal antibody Y13-259, and consequently, RasC is less immunoreactive with the antibody than either of the Dictyostelium RasD or RasG proteins. In contrast, RasS, which has three substitutions in the Y13-259 binding site, does not react with the Y13-259 antibody.

  1. Structure of the N-terminal domain of the adenylyl cyclase-associated protein (CAP) from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Ksiazek, Dorota; Brandstetter, Hans; Israel, Lars; Bourenkov, Gleb P; Katchalova, Galina; Janssen, Klaus-Peter; Bartunik, Hans D; Noegel, Angelika A; Schleicher, Michael; Holak, Tad A

    2003-09-01

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are widely distributed and highly conserved proteins that regulate actin remodeling in response to cellular signals. The N termini of CAPs play a role in Ras signaling and bind adenylyl cyclase; the C termini bind to G-actin and thereby alter the dynamic rearrangements of the microfilament system. We report here the X-ray structure of the core of the N-terminal domain of the CAP from Dictyostelium discoideum, which comprises residues 51-226, determined by a combination of single isomorphous replacement with anomalous scattering (SIRAS). The overall structure of this fragment is an alpha helix bundle composed of six antiparallel helices. Results from gel filtration and crosslinking experiments for CAP(1-226), CAP(255-464), and the full-length protein, together with the CAP N-terminal domain structure and the recently determined CAP C-terminal domain structure, provide evidence that the functional structure of CAP is multimeric.

  2. NMR structural characterization of the N-terminal domain of the adenylyl cyclase-associated protein (CAP) from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Mavoungou, Chrystelle; Israel, Lars; Rehm, Till; Ksiazek, Dorota; Krajewski, Marcin; Popowicz, Grzegorz; Noegel, Angelika A; Schleicher, Michael; Holak, Tad A

    2004-05-01

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are highly conserved, ubiquitous actin binding proteins that are involved in microfilament reorganization. The N-termini of CAPs play a role in Ras signaling and bind adenylyl cyclase; the C-termini bind to G-actin. We report here the NMR characterization of the amino-terminal domain of CAP from Dictyostelium discoideum (CAP(1-226)). NMR data, including the steady state (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear NOE experiments, indicate that the first 50 N-terminal residues are unstructured and that this highly flexible serine-rich fragment is followed by a stable, folded core starting at Ser 51. The NMR structure of the folded core is an alpha-helix bundle composed of six antiparallel helices, in a stark contrast to the recently determined CAP C-terminal domain structure, which is solely built by beta-strands.

  3. Fluorographic detection of tritiated glycopeptides and oligosaccharides separated on polyacrylamide gels: analysis of glycans from Dictyostelium discoideum glycoproteins

    SciTech Connect

    Prem Das, O.; Henderson, E.J.

    1986-11-01

    Previous workers have shown that oligosaccharides and glycopeptides can be separated by electrophoresis in buffers containing borate ions. However, normal fluorography of tritium-labeled structures cannot be performed because the glycans are soluble and can diffuse during equilibration with scintillants. This problem has been circumvented by equilibration of the gel with 2,5-diphenyloxazole (PPO) prior to electrophoresis. The presence of PPO in the gel during electrophoresis does not alter mobility of the glycopeptides and oligosaccharides. After electrophoresis, the gel is simply dried and fluorography performed. This allows sensitive and precise comparisons of labeled samples in parallel lanes of a slab gel and, since mobilities are highly reproducible, between different gels. The procedure is preparative in that after fluorography the gel bands can be quantitatively eluted for further study, without any apparent modification by the procedure. In this report, the procedure is illustrated by fractionation of both neutral and anionic glycopeptides produced by the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

  4. Flow-Driven Waves and Phase-Locked Self-Organization in Quasi-One-Dimensional Colonies of Dictyostelium discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholami, A.; Steinbock, O.; Zykov, V.; Bodenschatz, E.

    2015-01-01

    We report experiments on flow-driven waves in a microfluidic channel containing the signaling slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. The observed cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) wave trains developed spontaneously in the presence of flow and propagated with the velocity proportional to the imposed flow velocity. The period of the wave trains was independent of the flow velocity. Perturbations of flow-driven waves via external periodic pulses of the signaling agent cAMP induced 1 ∶1 , 2 ∶1 , 3 ∶1 , and 1 ∶2 frequency responses, reminiscent of Arnold tongues in forced oscillatory systems. We expect our observations to be generic to active media governed by reaction-diffusion-advection dynamics, where spatially bound autocatalytic processes occur under flow conditions.

  5. An inducible, nondegradative phytoalexin resistance mechanism in Dictyostelium discoideum is suppressed by mutations that alter membrane sterol composition.

    PubMed

    Kasbekar, D P; Papavinasasundaram, K G

    1992-06-01

    Pretreatment of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae with a sublethal concentration of the pea phytoalexin pisatin was shown to induce nondegradative resistance to subsequent challenges with inhibitory concentrations. An alteration of membrane sterol composition either with the azasterol A25822B or by mutations in nysC that confer resistance to the polyene antibiotic nystatin suppressed the induction of pisatin resistance. Wild-type cells grown on pisatin medium acquired resistance to nystatin; however, after transfer to nystatin medium, they lost their pisatin resistance phenotype but remained nystatin resistant. To account for this asymmetry in the induction and maintenance of cross-resistance after growth on pisatin and nystatin media, we propose a model in which the two resistance phenotypes are governed by distinct mechanisms. This model presumes that growth on pisatin induces membrane alterations that predispose cells to acquire nystatin resistance but that the pisatin-induced membrane alterations are not maintained in the absence of pisatin.

  6. Cyclophilins of a novel subfamily interact with SNW/SKIP coregulator in Dictyostelium discoideum and Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    PubMed

    Skruzný, M; Ambrozková, M; Fuková, I; Martínková, K; Blahůsková, A; Hamplová, L; Půta, F; Folk, P

    2001-10-31

    We screened the Dictyostelium discoideum two-hybrid cDNA library with the SNW/SKIP transcription coregulator SnwA and identified a novel cyclophilin CypE. Independently, the Schizosaccharomyces pombe cDNA library was screened with the SnwA ortholog Snw1 and the ortholog of CypE (named Cyp2) was found. Both cyclophilins bind the respective SNW protein in their autologous systems. The interaction was localized to the N-terminal part of SnwA as well as of Snw1. CypE was confirmed in vitro to be a cyclosporin A-sensitive peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase. Remarkably, both SNW proteins bind the cyclophilins in a cyclosporin A independent manner, possibly serving as adaptors for these novel isomerases. These results are the first characterization of the members of a novel cyclophilin subfamily, which includes the human CGI-124/PPIL1 protein.

  7. Cyclic GMP and cyclic AMP changes in response to folic acid pulses during cell development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Wurster, B; Schubiger, K; Brachet, P

    1979-06-01

    Folic acid pulses induced developmental processes in agip 71, a morphogenetic mutant of Dictyostelium discoideum, strain Ax-2. Cells that had received folic acid pulses were able to form EDTA-stable cell aggregates and to complete full differentiation to fruiting bodies. In these cells no autonomous periodic activities were observed by light scattering. Folic acid pulses elicited increases in the concentrations of cyclic GMP and cyclic AMP. In undifferentiated cells, folic acid caused a rapid increase in the level of cyclic GMP without a significant change in the level of cyclic AMP. In an advanced developmental state folic acid caused an increase in cyclic AMP in addition to two successsive peaks of cyclic GMP. Experiments performed with the parent strain, Ax-2, also showed that during the development towards aggregation competence, cells acquired the ability to produce a cyclic AMP peak in response to folic acid.

  8. Functional Characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine-Resistance Transporter (PfCRT) in Transformed Dictyostelium discoideum Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Papakrivos, Janni; Sá, Juliana M.; Wellems, Thomas E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Chloroquine (CQ)-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria has been a global health catastrophe, yet much about the CQ resistance (CQR) mechanism remains unclear. Hallmarks of the CQR phenotype include reduced accumulation of protonated CQ as a weak base in the digestive vacuole of the erythrocyte-stage parasite, and chemosensitization of CQ-resistant (but not CQ-sensitive) P. falciparum by agents such as verapamil. Mutations in the P. falciparum CQR transporter (PfCRT) confer CQR; particularly important among these mutations is the charge-loss substitution K→T at position 76. Dictyostelium discoideum transformed with mutant PfCRT expresses key features of CQR including reduced drug accumulation and verapamil chemosensitization. Methodology and Findings We describe the isolation and characterization of PfCRT-transformed, hematin-free vesicles from D. discoideum cells. These vesicles permit assessments of drug accumulation, pH, and membrane potential that are difficult or impossible with hematin-containing digestive vacuoles from P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Mutant PfCRT-transformed D. discoideum vesicles show features of the CQR phenotype, and manipulations of vesicle membrane potential by agents including ionophores produce large changes of CQ accumulation that are dissociated from vesicular pH. PfCRT in its native or mutant form blunts the ability of valinomycin to reduce CQ accumulation in transformed vesicles and decreases the ability of K+ to reverse membrane potential hyperpolarization caused by valinomycin treatment. Conclusion Isolated vesicles from mutant-PfCRT-transformed D. discoideum exhibit features of the CQR phenotype, consistent with evidence that the drug resistance mechanism operates at the P. falciparum digestive vacuole membrane in malaria. Membrane potential apart from pH has a major effect on the PfCRT-mediated CQR phenotype of D. discoideum vesicles. These results support a model of PfCRT as an electrochemical potential

  9. Imaging G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated signaling events that control chemotaxis of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xuehua; Jin, Tian

    2011-09-20

    Many eukaryotic cells can detect gradients of chemical signals in their environments and migrate accordingly (1). This guided cell migration is referred as chemotaxis, which is essential for various cells to carry out their functions such as trafficking of immune cells and patterning of neuronal cells (2, 3). A large family of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) detects variable small peptides, known as chemokines, to direct cell migration in vivo (4). The final goal of chemotaxis research is to understand how a GPCR machinery senses chemokine gradients and controls signaling events leading to chemotaxis. To this end, we use imaging techniques to monitor, in real time, spatiotemporal concentrations of chemoattractants, cell movement in a gradient of chemoattractant, GPCR mediated activation of heterotrimeric G-protein, and intracellular signaling events involved in chemotaxis of eukaryotic cells (5-8). The simple eukaryotic organism, Dictyostelium discoideum, displays chemotaxic behaviors that are similar to those of leukocytes, and D. discoideum is a key model system for studying eukaryotic chemotaxis. As free-living amoebae, D. discoideum cells divide in rich medium. Upon starvation, cells enter a developmental program in which they aggregate through cAMP-mediated chemotaxis to form multicullular structures. Many components involved in chemotaxis to cAMP have been identified in D. discoideum. The binding of cAMP to a GPCR (cAR1) induces dissociation of heterotrimeric G-proteins into Gγ and Gβγ subunits (7, 9, 10). Gβγ subunits activate Ras, which in turn activates PI3K, converting PIP(2;) into PIP(3;) on the cell membrane (11-13). PIP(3;) serve as binding sites for proteins with pleckstrin Homology (PH) domains, thus recruiting these proteins to the membrane (14, 15). Activation of cAR1 receptors also controls the membrane associations of PTEN, which dephosphorylates PIP(3;) to PIP(2;)(16, 17). The molecular mechanisms are evolutionarily conserved in

  10. Effects of an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field on stress factors: a study in Dictyostelium discoideum cells.

    PubMed

    Amaroli, Andrea; Chessa, Maria Giovanna; Bavestrello, Giorgio; Bianco, Bruno

    2013-08-01

    The development of technologies that generate environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has led public opinion and the scientific community to debate upon the existence of possible effects caused by man-made EMFs on the human population and, more generally, on terrestrial ecosystems. Protozoa are known to be excellent bioassay systems in bioelectromagnetic studies because of their features that combine the reliability of in vivo results with the practicality of in vitro ones. For this reason, we examined the possible stressful effects of a 50-Hz, 300-μT extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) on the protozoan Dictyostelium discoideum, which was used as it is included in the eight bioassay alternatives to vertebrate models for the study of human disease by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Our results show how a 24-h exposure of D. discoideum cells to ELF-EMF can affect the net fission rate, the activity and presence of the pseudocholinesterase as well as the presence of the heat shock protein-70, while no change in the catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities was observed. However, this effect seems to be transient and all the altered parameters returned to their respective control value after a 24-h stay under dummy exposure conditions.

  11. Genetically tagged TRE5-A retrotransposons reveal high amplification rates and authentic target site preference in the Dictyostelium discoideum genome

    PubMed Central

    Siol, Oliver; Spaller, Thomas; Schiefner, Jana; Winckler, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Retrotransposons contribute significantly to the evolution of eukaryotic genomes. They replicate by producing DNA copies of their own RNA, which are integrated at new locations in the host cell genome. In the gene-dense genome of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, retrotransposon TRE5-A avoids insertional mutagenesis by targeting the transcription factor (TF) IIIC/IIIB complex and integrating ∼50 bp upstream of tRNA genes. We generated synthetic TRE5-A retrotransposons (TRE5-Absr) that were tagged with a selection marker that conferred resistance to blasticidin after a complete retrotransposition cycle. We found that the TRE5-Absr elements were efficiently mobilized in trans by proteins expressed from the endogenous TRE5-A population found in D. discoideum cells. ORF1 protein translated from TRE5-Absr elements significantly enhanced retrotransposition. We observed that the 5′ untranslated region of TRE5-A could be replaced by an unrelated promoter, whereas the 3′ untranslated region of TRE5-A was essential for retrotransposition. A predicted secondary structure in the RNA of the 3′ untranslated region of TRE5-A may be involved in the retrotransposition process. The TRE5-Absr elements were capable of identifying authentic integration targets in vivo, including formerly unnoticed, putative binding sites for TFIIIC on the extrachromosomal DNA element that carries the ribosomal RNA genes. PMID:21525131

  12. The TOM Complex of Amoebozoans: the Cases of the Amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the Slime Mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Wojtkowska, Małgorzata; Buczek, Dorota; Stobienia, Olgierd; Karachitos, Andonis; Antoniewicz, Monika; Slocinska, Małgorzata; Makałowski, Wojciech; Kmita, Hanna

    2015-07-01

    Protein import into mitochondria requires a wide variety of proteins, forming complexes in both mitochondrial membranes. The TOM complex (translocase of the outer membrane) is responsible for decoding of targeting signals, translocation of imported proteins across or into the outer membrane, and their subsequent sorting. Thus the TOM complex is regarded as the main gate into mitochondria for imported proteins. Available data indicate that mitochondria of representative organisms from across the major phylogenetic lineages of eukaryotes differ in subunit organization of the TOM complex. The subunit organization of the TOM complex in the Amoebozoa is still elusive, so we decided to investigate its organization in the soil amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. They represent two major subclades of the Amoebozoa: the Lobosa and Conosa, respectively. Our results confirm the presence of Tom70, Tom40 and Tom7 in the A. castellanii and D. discoideum TOM complex, while the presence of Tom22 and Tom20 is less supported. Interestingly, the Tom proteins display the highest similarity to Opisthokonta cognate proteins, with the exception of Tom40. Thus representatives of two major subclades of the Amoebozoa appear to be similar in organization of the TOM complex, despite differences in their lifestyle. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  13. Amoeba-resisting bacteria found in multilamellar bodies secreted by Dictyostelium discoideum: social amoebae can also package bacteria.

    PubMed

    Paquet, Valérie E; Charette, Steve J

    2016-03-01

    Many bacteria can resist phagocytic digestion by various protozoa. Some of these bacteria (all human pathogens) are known to be packaged in multilamellar bodies produced in the phagocytic pathway of the protozoa and that are secreted into the extracellular milieu. Packaged bacteria are protected from harsh conditions, and the packaging process is suspected to promote bacterial persistence in the environment. To date, only a limited number of protozoa, belonging to free-living amoebae and ciliates, have been shown to perform bacteria packaging. It is still unknown if social amoebae can do bacteria packaging. The link between the capacity of 136 bacterial isolates to resist the grazing of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum and to be packaged by this amoeba was investigated in the present study. The 45 bacterial isolates displaying a resisting phenotype were tested for their capacity to be packaged. A total of seven isolates from Cupriavidus, Micrococcus, Microbacterium and Rathayibacter genera seemed to be packaged and secreted by D. discoideum based on immunofluorescence results. Electron microscopy confirmed that the Cupriavidus and Rathayibacter isolates were formally packaged. These results show that social amoebae can package some bacteria from the environment revealing a new aspect of microbial ecology.

  14. Developmentally regulated enzymes and cyclic AMP-binding sites in Dictyostelium discoideum cells blocked during development by alpha-chymotrypsin.

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, J A; Stirling, J L

    1982-01-01

    When cells of the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum are allowed to starve in the presence of alpha-chymotrypsin, they are blocked in development at the stage where tight aggregates form tips. Analysis of developmentally regulated enzymes has shown that alpha-mannosidase, beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase, threonine deaminase, tyrosine aminotransferase, beta-glucosidase and the carbohydrate-binding protein discoidin are unaffected, but enzymes that show an increase in specific activity during post-aggregative development, namely glycogen phosphorylase, UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, UDP-galactose 4-epimerase, UDP-galactose polysaccharide transferase and alkaline phosphatase, did not show the characteristic increase when development was blocked by alpha-chymotrypsin. Recovery of cells from the effects of alpha-chymotrypsin was accompanied by the formation of fruiting bodies and a concomitant increase in the specific activity of UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. Uptake or efflux of 45Ca2+ was not altered in the presence of alpha-chymotrypsin. Cells allowed to develop in alpha-chymotrypsin, or treated with the enzyme for 15 min, had a markedly reduced ability to bind cyclic AMP with low affinity; high-affinity binding was unaffected. Pronase had a similar effect on cyclic AMP binding, but trypsin, which does not alter developmental processes, has no effect on cyclic AMP binding to D. discoideum cells. PMID:7150239

  15. Identification of a signal transduction response sequence element necessary for induction of a Dictyostelium discoideum gene by extracellular cyclic AMP.

    PubMed Central

    Pavlovic, J; Haribabu, B; Dottin, R P

    1989-01-01

    The signal transduction pathways that lead to gene induction are being intensively investigated in Dictyostelium discoideum. We have identified by deletion and transformation analysis a sequence element necessary for induction of a gene coding for uridine diphosphoglucose pyrophosphorylase (UDPGP1) of D. discoideum in response to extracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP). This regulatory element is located 380 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site and contains a G+C-rich partially palindromic sequence. It is not required for transcription per se but is required for induction of the gene in response to the stimulus of extracellular cAMP. The cAMP response sequence is also required for induction of the gene during normal development. A second A+T-rich cis-acting region located immediately downstream of the cAMP response sequence appears to be essential for the basal level of expression of the UDPGP1 gene. The position of the cAMP response element coincides with a DNase I-hypersensitive site that is observed when the UDPGP1 gene is actively transcribed. Images PMID:2557538

  16. Clues to γ-secretase, huntingtin and Hirano body normal function using the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Myre, Michael A

    2012-04-10

    Many neurodegenerative disorders, although related by their destruction of brain function, display remarkable cellular and/or regional pathogenic specificity likely due to a deregulated functionality of the mutant protein. However, neurodegenerative disease genes, for example huntingtin (HTT), the ataxins, the presenilins (PSEN1/PSEN2) are not simply localized to neurons but are ubiquitously expressed throughout peripheral tissues; it is therefore paramount to properly understand the earliest precipitating events leading to neuronal pathogenesis to develop effective long-term therapies. This means, in no unequivocal terms, it is crucial to understand the gene's normal function. Unfortunately, many genes are often essential for embryogenesis which precludes their study in whole organisms. This is true for HTT, the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilins, responsible for early onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). To better understand neurological disease in humans, many lower and higher eukaryotic models have been established. So the question arises: how reasonable is the use of organisms to study neurological disorders when the model of choice does not contain neurons? Here we will review the surprising, and novel emerging use of the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum, a species of soil-living amoeba, as a valuable biomedical tool to study the normal function of neurodegenerative genes. Historically, the evidence on the usefulness of simple organisms to understand the etiology of cellular pathology cannot be denied. But using an organism without a central nervous system to understand diseases of the brain? We will first introduce the life cycle of Dictyostelium, the presence of many disease genes in the genome and how it has provided unique opportunities to identify mechanisms of disease involving actin pathologies, mitochondrial disease, human lysosomal and trafficking disorders and host-pathogen interactions. Secondly, I will highlight recent studies on

  17. The contractile basis of amoeboid movement: V. The control of gelation, solation, and contraction in extracts from dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Condeelis, JS; Taylor, DL

    1977-01-01

    Motile extracts have been prepared from Dictyostelium discoideum by homogenization and differential centrifugation at 4 degrees C in a stabilization solution (60). These extracts gelled on warming to 25 degrees Celsius and contracted in response to micromolar Ca++ or a pH in excess of 7.0. Optimal gelation occurred in a solution containing 2.5 mM ethylene glycol-bis (β-aminoethyl ether)N,N,N',N'-tetraacetate (EGTA), 2.5 mM piperazine-N-N'-bis [2-ethane sulfonic acid] (PIPES), 1 mM MgC1(2), 1 mM ATP, and 20 mM KCI at ph 7.0 (relaxation solution), while micromolar levels of Ca++ inhibited gelation. Conditions that solated the gel elicited contraction of extracts containing myosin. This was true regardless of whether chemical (micromolar Ca++, pH >7.0, cytochalasin B, elevated concentrations of KCI, MgC1(2), and sucrose) or physical (pressure, mechanical stress, and cold) means were used to induce solation. Myosin was definitely required for contraction. During Ca++-or pH-elicited contraction: (a) actin, myosin, and a 95,000-dalton polypeptide were concentrated in the contracted extract; (b) the gelation activity was recovered in the material sqeezed out the contracting extract;(c) electron microscopy demonstrated that the number of free, recognizable F-actin filaments increased; (d) the actomyosin MgATPase activity was stimulated by 4- to 10-fold. In the absense of myosin the Dictyostelium extract did not contract, while gelation proceeded normally. During solation of the gel in the absense of myosin: (a) electron microscopy demonstrated that the number of free, recognizable F- actin filaments increased; (b) solation-dependent contraction of the extract and the Ca++-stimulated MgATPase activity were reconstituted by adding puried Dictyostelium myosin. Actin purified from the Dictyostelium extract did not gel (at 2 mg/ml), while low concentrations of actin (0.7-2 mg/ml) that contained several contaminating components underwent rapid Ca++ regulated gelation. These

  18. Clues to γ-secretase, huntingtin and Hirano body normal function using the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Many neurodegenerative disorders, although related by their destruction of brain function, display remarkable cellular and/or regional pathogenic specificity likely due to a deregulated functionality of the mutant protein. However, neurodegenerative disease genes, for example huntingtin (HTT), the ataxins, the presenilins (PSEN1/PSEN2) are not simply localized to neurons but are ubiquitously expressed throughout peripheral tissues; it is therefore paramount to properly understand the earliest precipitating events leading to neuronal pathogenesis to develop effective long-term therapies. This means, in no unequivocal terms, it is crucial to understand the gene's normal function. Unfortunately, many genes are often essential for embryogenesis which precludes their study in whole organisms. This is true for HTT, the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilins, responsible for early onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). To better understand neurological disease in humans, many lower and higher eukaryotic models have been established. So the question arises: how reasonable is the use of organisms to study neurological disorders when the model of choice does not contain neurons? Here we will review the surprising, and novel emerging use of the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum, a species of soil-living amoeba, as a valuable biomedical tool to study the normal function of neurodegenerative genes. Historically, the evidence on the usefulness of simple organisms to understand the etiology of cellular pathology cannot be denied. But using an organism without a central nervous system to understand diseases of the brain? We will first introduce the life cycle of Dictyostelium, the presence of many disease genes in the genome and how it has provided unique opportunities to identify mechanisms of disease involving actin pathologies, mitochondrial disease, human lysosomal and trafficking disorders and host-pathogen interactions. Secondly, I will highlight recent studies on

  19. Overproduction of the regulatory subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase blocks the differentiation of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Simon, M N; Driscoll, D; Mutzel, R; Part, D; Williams, J; Véron, M

    1989-01-01

    During the aggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum extracellular cAMP is known to act as a chemotractant and as an inducer of cellular differentiation. However, its intracellular role as a second messenger remains obscure. We have constructed a fusion gene consisting of the cDNA encoding the regulatory subunit (R) of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase fused to the promoter and N-terminal-proximal sequences of a Dictyostelium actin gene. Stable transformants, containing multiple copies of this gene, overproduce the R subunit which accumulates prematurely relative to the endogenous protein. These transformants fail to aggregate. Detailed analysis has shown that they are blocked at interphase, the period prior to aggregation, and that they are severely defective in most responses to cAMP including the induction of gene expression. Our observations suggest that intracellular cAMP acts, presumably by activation of the catalytic subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase, to facilitate early development. Images PMID:2551673

  20. dictyExpress: a Dictyostelium discoideum gene expression database with an explorative data analysis web-based interface

    PubMed Central

    Rot, Gregor; Parikh, Anup; Curk, Tomaz; Kuspa, Adam; Shaulsky, Gad; Zupan, Blaz

    2009-01-01

    Background Bioinformatics often leverages on recent advancements in computer science to support biologists in their scientific discovery process. Such efforts include the development of easy-to-use web interfaces to biomedical databases. Recent advancements in interactive web technologies require us to rethink the standard submit-and-wait paradigm, and craft bioinformatics web applications that share analytical and interactive power with their desktop relatives, while retaining simplicity and availability. Results We have developed dictyExpress, a web application that features a graphical, highly interactive explorative interface to our database that consists of more than 1000 Dictyostelium discoideum gene expression experiments. In dictyExpress, the user can select experiments and genes, perform gene clustering, view gene expression profiles across time, view gene co-expression networks, perform analyses of Gene Ontology term enrichment, and simultaneously display expression profiles for a selected gene in various experiments. Most importantly, these tasks are achieved through web applications whose components are seamlessly interlinked and immediately respond to events triggered by the user, thus providing a powerful explorative data analysis environment. Conclusion dictyExpress is a precursor for a new generation of web-based bioinformatics applications with simple but powerful interactive interfaces that resemble that of the modern desktop. While dictyExpress serves mainly the Dictyostelium research community, it is relatively easy to adapt it to other datasets. We propose that the design ideas behind dictyExpress will influence the development of similar applications for other model organisms. PMID:19706156

  1. Actin-binding protein G (AbpG) participates in modulating the actin cytoskeleton and cell migration in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Wei-Chi; Wang, Liang-Chen; Pang, Te-Ling; Chen, Mei-Yu

    2015-01-01

    Cell migration is involved in various physiological and pathogenic events, and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The simple eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum displays chemotactic locomotion in stages of its life cycle. By characterizing a Dictyostelium mutant defective in chemotactic responses, we identified a novel actin-binding protein serving to modulate cell migration and named it actin-binding protein G (AbpG); this 971–amino acid (aa) protein contains an N-terminal type 2 calponin homology (CH2) domain followed by two large coiled-coil regions. In chemoattractant gradients, abpG− cells display normal directional persistence but migrate significantly more slowly than wild-type cells; expressing Flag-AbpG in mutant cells eliminates the motility defect. AbpG is enriched in cortical/lamellipodial regions and colocalizes well with F-actin; aa 401–600 and aa 501–550 fragments of AbpG show the same distribution as full-length AbpG. The aa 501–550 region of AbpG, which is essential for AbpG to localize to lamellipodia and to rescue the phenotype of abpG− cells, is sufficient for binding to F-actin and represents a novel actin-binding protein domain. Compared with wild-type cells, abpG− cells have significantly higher F-actin levels. Collectively our results suggest that AbpG may participate in modulating actin dynamics to optimize cell locomotion. PMID:25609090

  2. Identification of a cyclase-associated protein (CAP) homologue in Dictyostelium discoideum and characterization of its interaction with actin.

    PubMed Central

    Gottwald, U; Brokamp, R; Karakesisoglou, I; Schleicher, M; Noegel, A A

    1996-01-01

    In search for novel actin binding proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum we have isolated a cDNA clone coding for a protein of approximately 50 kDa that is highly homologous to the class of adenylyl cyclase-associated proteins (CAP). In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the amino-terminal part of CAP is involved in the regulation of the adenylyl cyclase whereas the loss of the carboxyl-terminal domain results in morphological and nutritional defects. To study the interaction of Dictyostelium CAP with actin, the complete protein and its amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal domains were expressed in Escherichia coli and used in actin binding assays. CAP sequestered actin in a Ca2+ independent way. This activity was localized to the carboxyl-terminal domain. CAP and its carboxyl-terminal domain led to a fluorescence enhancement of pyrene-labeled G-actin up to 50% indicating a direct interaction, whereas the amino-terminal domain did not enhance. In polymerization as well as in viscometric assays the ability of the carboxyl-terminal domain to sequester actin and to prevent F-actin formation was approximately two times higher than that of intact CAP. The sequestering activity of full length CAP could be inhibited by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), whereas the activity of the carboxyl-terminal domain alone was not influenced, suggesting that the amino-terminal half of the protein is required for the PIP2 modulation of the CAP function. In profilin-minus cells the CAP concentration is increased by approximately 73%, indicating that CAP may compensate some profilin functions in vivo. In migrating D. discoideum cells CAP was enriched at anterior and posterior plasma membrane regions. Only a weak staining of the cytoplasm was observed. In chemotactically stimulated cells the protein was very prominent in leading fronts. The data suggest an involvement of D. discoideum CAP in microfilament reorganization near the plasma membrane in a PIP2-regulated manner. Images PMID

  3. Iron metabolism and resistance to infection by invasive bacteria in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Bozzaro, Salvatore; Buracco, Simona; Peracino, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    Dictyostelium cells are forest soil amoebae, which feed on bacteria and proliferate as solitary cells until bacteria are consumed. Starvation triggers a change in life style, forcing cells to gather into aggregates to form multicellular organisms capable of cell differentiation and morphogenesis. As a soil amoeba and a phagocyte that grazes on bacteria as the obligate source of food, Dictyostelium could be a natural host of pathogenic bacteria. Indeed, many pathogens that occasionally infect humans are hosted for most of their time in protozoa or free-living amoebae, where evolution of their virulence traits occurs. Due to these features and its amenability to genetic manipulation, Dictyostelium has become a valuable model organism for studying strategies of both the host to resist infection and the pathogen to escape the defense mechanisms. Similarly to higher eukaryotes, iron homeostasis is crucial for Dictyostelium resistance to invasive bacteria. Iron is essential for Dictyostelium, as both iron deficiency or overload inhibit cell growth. The Dictyostelium genome shares with mammals many genes regulating iron homeostasis. Iron transporters of the Nramp (Slc11A) family are represented with two genes, encoding Nramp1 and Nramp2. Like the mammalian ortholog, Nramp1 is recruited to phagosomes and macropinosomes, whereas Nramp2 is a membrane protein of the contractile vacuole network, which regulates osmolarity. Nramp1 and Nramp2 localization in distinct compartments suggests that both proteins synergistically regulate iron homeostasis. Rather than by absorption via membrane transporters, iron is likely gained by degradation of ingested bacteria and efflux via Nramp1 from phagosomes to the cytosol. Nramp gene disruption increases Dictyostelium sensitivity to infection, enhancing intracellular growth of Legionella or Mycobacteria. Generation of mutants in other "iron genes" will help identify genes essential for iron homeostasis and resistance to pathogens.

  4. Immunological evidence to show that the N-acetylglucosaminidase and N-acetylgalactosaminidase activities of Dictyostelium discoideum reside in the same protein molecule (Short Communication)

    PubMed Central

    Every, D.; Ashworth, J. M.

    1974-01-01

    Antibodies were produced against purified β-N-acetylhexosaminidase from Dictyostelium discoideum. Ouchterlony tests produced a single precipitin band with both β-N-acetylglucosaminidase and β-N-acetylgalactosaminidase activities. Both activities were co-precipitated in exactly the same proportions in quantitative immunoprecipitation reactions. We conclude that one enzyme protein catalyses the hydrolysis of both N-acetylglucosaminides and N-acetylgalactosaminides. ImagesPLATE 1 PMID:4142750

  5. Two ras genes in Dictyostelium minutum show high sequence homology, but different developmental regulation from Dictyostelium discoideum rasD and rasG genes.

    PubMed

    van Es, S; Kooistra, R A; Schaap, P

    1997-03-10

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum expresses five ras genes at different stages of development. One of them, DdrasD is expressed during postaggregative development and transcription is induced by extracellular cAMP. A homologue of DdrasD, the DdrasG gene, is expressed exclusively during vegetative growth. We cloned two ras homologues Dmras1 and Dmras2 from the primitive species D. minutum, which show high homology to DdrasD and DdrasG and less homology to the other Ddras genes. In contrast to the DdrasD and DdrasG genes, both the Dmras1 and Dmras2 genes are expressed during the entire course of development. The expression levels are low during growth, increase at the onset of starvation and do not decrease until fruiting bodies have formed. Expression of neither Dmras1 or Dmras2 is regulated by cAMP. So even though the high degree of homology between the ras genes of different species suggests conservation of function, this function is apparently not associated with a specific developmental stage.

  6. Bestatin inhibits cell growth, cell division, and spore cell differentiation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Poloz, Yekaterina; Catalano, Andrew; O'Day, Danton H

    2012-04-01

    Bestatin methyl ester (BME) is an inhibitor of Zn(2+)-binding aminopeptidases that inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in normal and cancer cells. We have used Dictyostelium as a model organism to study the effects of BME. Only two Zn(2+)-binding aminopeptidases have been identified in Dictyostelium to date, puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase A and B (PsaA and PsaB). PSA from other organisms is known to regulate cell division and differentiation. Here we show that PsaA is differentially expressed throughout growth and development of Dictyostelium, and its expression is regulated by developmental morphogens. We present evidence that BME specifically interacts with PsaA and inhibits its aminopeptidase activity. Treatment of cells with BME inhibited the rate of cell growth and the frequency of cell division in growing cells and inhibited spore cell differentiation during late development. Overexpression of PsaA-GFP (where GFP is green fluorescent protein) also inhibited spore cell differentiation but did not affect growth. Using chimeras, we have identified that nuclear versus cytoplasmic localization of PsaA affects the choice between stalk or spore cell differentiation pathway. Cells that overexpressed PsaA-GFP (primarily nuclear) differentiated into stalk cells, while cells that overexpressed PsaAΔNLS2-GFP (cytoplasmic) differentiated into spores. In conclusion, we have identified that BME inhibits cell growth, division, and differentiation in Dictyostelium likely through inhibition of PsaA.

  7. Loss of Cln3 function in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum causes pleiotropic effects that are rescued by human CLN3.

    PubMed

    Huber, Robert J; Myre, Michael A; Cotman, Susan L

    2014-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of inherited, severe neurodegenerative disorders also known as Batten disease. Juvenile NCL (JNCL) is caused by recessive loss-of-function mutations in CLN3, which encodes a transmembrane protein that regulates endocytic pathway trafficking, though its primary function is not yet known. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is increasingly utilized for neurological disease research and is particularly suited for investigation of protein function in trafficking. Therefore, here we establish new overexpression and knockout Dictyostelium cell lines for JNCL research. Dictyostelium Cln3 fused to GFP localized to the contractile vacuole system and to compartments of the endocytic pathway. cln3- cells displayed increased rates of proliferation and an associated reduction in the extracellular levels and cleavage of the autocrine proliferation repressor, AprA. Mid- and late development of cln3- cells was precocious and cln3- slugs displayed increased migration. Expression of either Dictyostelium Cln3 or human CLN3 in cln3- cells suppressed the precocious development and aberrant slug migration, which were also suppressed by calcium chelation. Taken together, our results show that Cln3 is a pleiotropic protein that negatively regulates proliferation and development in Dictyostelium. This new model system, which allows for the study of Cln3 function in both single cells and a multicellular organism, together with the observation that expression of human CLN3 restores abnormalities in Dictyostelium cln3- cells, strongly supports the use of this new model for JNCL research.

  8. Fatty acids induce release of Ca2+ from acidosomal stores and activate capacitative Ca2+ entry in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Schaloske, R; Sonnemann, J; Malchow, D; Schlatterer, C

    1998-01-01

    cAMP-induced Ca2+ fluxes in Dictyostelium discoideum largely depend on phospholipase A2 activity generating non-esterified fatty acids [Schaloske and Malchow (1997) Biochem. J. 327, 233-238]. In the present study the effect of fatty acids on Ca2+ homoeostasis in D. discoideum was investigated. Cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) was analysed by digital imaging of single fura2-dextran-loaded cells. Arachidonic acid and linoleic acid induced a transient increase in [Ca2+]i. The concentration of arachidonic acid determined the percentage of responding cells, with the mean height of the increase being dose-independent. In nominally Ca2+-free medium or in the presence of bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N, N,N',N'-tetra-acetic acid (BAPTA), no [Ca2+]i transient was detectable. In spite of this, we found that (1) arachidonic acid induced Ca2+ release from permeabilized cells and from vesicular fractions at concentrations that elicited Ca2+ influx in intact cells and (2) Ca2+ entry was inhibited by inhibitors of Ca2+-transport ATPases and V-type H+-ATPase, indicating that intracellular Ca2+ release precedes Ca2+ entry. Inhibition studies and mutant analysis point to the acidosomal Ca2+ stores as a target of fatty acids. Although fatty acids can substitute fully for cAMP with respect to Ca2+ influx in wild-type cells, experiments with a mutant strain revealed that cAMP also sensitizes the Ca2+-entry mechanism: cAMP-induced Ca2+ influx was normal in a phospholipase C knockout mutant but influx was fairly insensitive to arachidonic acid in this strain. This defect could be overcome by higher doses of arachidonic acid which cause sufficient Ca2+ to be released from the stores to trigger extracellular Ca2+ entry. PMID:9601085

  9. Cytosolic acidification as a signal mediating hyperosmotic stress responses in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Pintsch, Tanja; Satre, Michel; Klein, Gérard; Martin, Jean-Baptiste; Schuster, Stephan C

    2001-01-01

    Background Dictyostelium cells exhibit an unusual response to hyperosmolarity that is distinct from the response in other organisms investigated: instead of accumulating compatible osmolytes as it has been described for a wide range of organisms, Dictyostelium cells rearrange their cytoskeleton and thereby build up a rigid network which is believed to constitute the major osmoprotective mechanism in this organism. To gain more insight into the osmoregulation of this amoeba, we investigated physiological processes affected under hyperosmotic conditions in Dictyostelium. Results We determined pH changes in response to hyperosmotic stress using FACS or 31P-NMR. Hyperosmolarity was found to acidify the cytosol from pH 7.5 to 6.8 within 5 minutes, whereas the pH of the endo-lysosomal compartment remained constant. Fluid-phase endocytosis was identified as a possible target of cytosolic acidification, as the inhibition of endocytosis observed under hypertonic conditions can be fully attributed to cytosolic acidification. In addition, a deceleration of vesicle mobility and a decrease in the NTP pool was observed. Conclusion Together, these results indicate that hyperosmotic stress triggers pleiotropic effects, which are partially mediated by a pH signal and which all contribute to the downregulation of cellular activity. The comparison of our results with the effect of hyperosmolarity and intracellular acidification on receptor-mediated endocytosis in mammalian cells reveals striking similarities, suggesting the hypothesis of the same mechanism of inhibition by low internal pH. PMID:11415467

  10. Assessing the role of the ASP56/CAP homologue of Dictyostelium discoideum and the requirements for subcellular localization.

    PubMed

    Noegel, A A; Rivero, F; Albrecht, R; Janssen, K P; Köhler, J; Parent, C A; Schleicher, M

    1999-10-01

    The CAP (cyclase-associated protein) homologue of Dictyostelium discoideum is a phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) regulated G-actin sequestering protein which is present in the cytosol and shows enrichment at plasma membrane regions. It is composed of two domains separated by a proline rich stretch. The sequestering activity has been localized to the C-terminal domain of the protein, whereas the presence of the N-terminal domain seems to be required for PIP(2)-regulation of the sequestering activity. Here we have constructed GFP-fusions of N- and C-domain and found that the N-terminal domain showed CAP-specific enrichment at the anterior and posterior ends of cells like endogenous CAP irrespective of the presence of the proline rich region. Mutant cells expressing strongly reduced levels of CAP were generated by homologous recombination. They had an altered cell morphology with very heterogeneous cell sizes and exhibited a cytokinesis defect. Growth on bacteria was normal both in suspension and on agar plates as was phagocytosis of yeast and bacteria. In suspension in axenic medium mutant cells grew more slowly and did not reach saturation densities observed for wild-type cells. This was paralleled by a reduction in fluid phase endocytosis. Development was delayed by several hours under all conditions assayed, furthermore, motile behaviour was affected.

  11. Studies of the cAMP mediated aggregation in Dictyostelium discoideum: receptor mediated activation of the adenylate cyclase

    SciTech Connect

    Theibert, W.E.A.B.

    1985-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum, a eukaryotic amoeba of the cellular slime mold family, provides an interesting paradigm in developmental biology. During development, hundreds of thousands of cells aggregate to form a multicellular aggregate. Aggregation is mediated by chemotaxis and chemical signaling. Waves of adenosine 3'-5' cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) propagate through the monolayer and provide transient gradients for chemotaxis. The author has used a reversible inhibitor of the cAMP signaling response to demonstrate that adaptation to cAMP is independent of the activation of the adenylate cyclase and therefore is not caused by the rise in intracellular cAMP. Next, it is shown that adenosine inhibits the cAMP signaling response. Inhibition is rapid, reversible, and depends on the cAMP stimulus concentration. Then the specificity of the cAMP receptors which mediates signaling is determined and compared with the receptors which mediate chemotaxis, the cGMP response, and cAMP binding antagonism. The cAMP surface receptor has been identified by photoaffinity labeling intact cells with (/sup 32/P)-8-N/sub 3/-cAMP using an ammonium sulfate binding stabilization technique. The photoactivated ligand specifically labels a polypeptide, localized to the membrane fraction, which migrates as a closely spaced doublet on SDS Page.

  12. Interaction of Dictyostelium discoideum lysosomal enzymes with the mammalian phosphomannosyl receptor. The importance of oligosaccharides which contain phosphodiesters

    SciTech Connect

    Freeze, H.H.

    1985-07-25

    Mammalian cell lysosomal enzymes or phosphorylated oligosaccharides derived from them are endocytosed by a phosphomannosyl receptor (PMR) found on the surface of fibroblasts. Various studies suggest that 2 residues of Man-6-P in phosphomonoester linkage but not diester linkage (PDE) are essential for a high rate of uptake. The lysosomal enzymes of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum are also recognized by the PMR on these cells; however, none of the oligosaccharides from these enzymes contain 2 phosphomonoesters. Instead, most contain multiple sulfate esters and 2 residues of Man-6-P in an unusual PDE linkage. In this study the authors have tried to account for the unexpected highly efficient uptake of the slime mold enzymes. The results show that nearly all of the alpha-mannosidase molecules contain the oligosaccharides required for uptake. Competition of SVI-beta-glucosidase uptake by various carbohydrate-containing fractions indicates that the best inhibitors are those with 2 PDE, either with or without sulfate esters. Complete denaturation of SVI-labeled wild-type beta-glucosidase in sodium dodecyl sulfate/dithiothreitol also reduces its uptake by about 10-fold. Taken together, these results suggest that the interactions of multiple, weakly binding oligosaccharides, especially those with 2 PDE, are important for the high rate of uptake of the slime mold enzymes.

  13. Probabilistic transition from unstable predator-prey interaction to stable coexistence of Dictyostelium discoideum and Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Kumiko; Mori, Kotaro; Suzuki, Shingo; Hosoda, Kazufumi; Yamada, Akito; Matsuyama, Shin-ichi; Kashiwagi, Akiko; Yomo, Tetsuya

    2011-03-01

    Predator-prey interactions have been found at all levels within ecosystems. Despite their ecological ubiquity and importance, the process of transition to a stable coexistent state has been poorly verified experimentally. To investigate the stabilization process of predator-prey interactions, we previously constructed a reproducible experimental predator-prey system between Dictyostelium discoideum and Escherichia coli, and showed that the phenotypically changed E. coli contributed to stabilization of the system. In the present study, we focused on the transition to stable coexistence of both species after the phenotypic change in E. coli. Analysis of E. coli cells isolated from co-culture plates as single colony enabled us to readily identify the appearance of phenotypically changed E. coli that differed in colony morphology and growth rate. It was also demonstrated that two types of viscous colony, i.e., the dense-type and sparse-type, differing in spatial distribution of both species emerged probabilistically and all of the viscous colonies maintained stably were of the sparse-type. These results suggest that the phenotypically changed E. coli may produce two types of viscous colonies probabilistically. The difference in spatial distribution would affect localized interactions between both species and then cause probabilistic stabilization of predator-prey interactions.

  14. Different CHD chromatin remodelers are required for expression of distinct gene sets and specific stages during development of Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Platt, James L.; Rogers, Benjamin J.; Rogers, Kelley C.; Harwood, Adrian J.; Kimmel, Alan R.

    2013-01-01

    Control of chromatin structure is crucial for multicellular development and regulation of cell differentiation. The CHD (chromodomain-helicase-DNA binding) protein family is one of the major ATP-dependent, chromatin remodeling factors that regulate nucleosome positioning and access of transcription factors and RNA polymerase to the eukaryotic genome. There are three mammalian CHD subfamilies and their impaired functions are associated with several human diseases. Here, we identify three CHD orthologs (ChdA, ChdB and ChdC) in Dictyostelium discoideum. These CHDs are expressed throughout development, but with unique patterns. Null mutants lacking each CHD have distinct phenotypes that reflect their expression patterns and suggest functional specificity. Accordingly, using genome-wide (RNA-seq) transcriptome profiling for each null strain, we show that the different CHDs regulate distinct gene sets during both growth and development. ChdC is an apparent ortholog of the mammalian Class III CHD group that is associated with the human CHARGE syndrome, and GO analyses of aberrant gene expression in chdC nulls suggest defects in both cell-autonomous and non-autonomous signaling, which have been confirmed through analyses of chdC nulls developed in pure populations or with low levels of wild-type cells. This study provides novel insight into the broad function of CHDs in the regulation development and disease, through chromatin-mediated changes in directed gene expression. PMID:24301467

  15. Absence of catalytic domain in a putative protein kinase C (PkcA) suppresses tip dominance in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Mohamed, Wasima; Ray, Sibnath; Brazill, Derrick; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2017-01-01

    A number of organisms possess several isoforms of protein kinase C but little is known about the significance of any specific isoform during embryogenesis and development. To address this we characterized a PKC ortholog (PkcA; DDB_G0288147) in Dictyostelium discoideum. pkcA expression switches from prestalk in mound to prespore in slug, indicating a dynamic expression pattern. Mutants lacking the catalytic domain of PkcA (pkcA−) did not exhibit tip dominance. A striking phenotype of pkcA− was the formation of an aggregate with a central hollow, and aggregates later fragmented to form small mounds, each becoming a fruiting body. Optical density wave patterns of cAMP in the late aggregates showed several cAMP wave generation centers. We attribute these defects in pkcA− to impaired cAMP signaling, altered cell motility and decreased expression of the cell adhesion molecules – CadA and CsaA. pkcA− slugs showed ectopic expression of ecmA in the prespore region. Further, the use of a PKC-specific inhibitor, GF109203X that inhibits the activity of catalytic domain phenocopied pkcA−. PMID:26183108

  16. Absence of catalytic domain in a putative protein kinase C (PkcA) suppresses tip dominance in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Wasima; Ray, Sibnath; Brazill, Derrick; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2015-09-01

    A number of organisms possess several isoforms of protein kinase C but little is known about the significance of any specific isoform during embryogenesis and development. To address this we characterized a PKC ortholog (PkcA; DDB_G0288147) in Dictyostelium discoideum. pkcA expression switches from prestalk in mound to prespore in slug, indicating a dynamic expression pattern. Mutants lacking the catalytic domain of PkcA (pkcA(-)) did not exhibit tip dominance. A striking phenotype of pkcA- was the formation of an aggregate with a central hollow, and aggregates later fragmented to form small mounds, each becoming a fruiting body. Optical density wave patterns of cAMP in the late aggregates showed several cAMP wave generation centers. We attribute these defects in pkcA(-) to impaired cAMP signaling, altered cell motility and decreased expression of the cell adhesion molecules - CadA and CsaA. pkcA(-) slugs showed ectopic expression of ecmA in the prespore region. Further, the use of a PKC-specific inhibitor, GF109203X that inhibits the activity of catalytic domain phenocopied pkcA(-).

  17. Systematic analysis of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolism and function in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yuantai; Janetopoulos, Chris

    2013-05-24

    While GABA has been suggested to regulate spore encapsulation in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, the metabolic profile and other potential functions of GABA during development remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the homeostasis of GABA metabolism by disrupting genes related to GABA metabolism and signaling. Extracellular levels of GABA are tightly regulated during early development, and GABA is generated by the glutamate decarboxylase, GadB, during growth and in early development. However, overexpression of the prespore-specific homologue, GadA, in the presence of GadB reduces production of extracellular GABA. Perturbation of extracellular GABA levels delays the process of aggregation. Cytosolic GABA is degraded by the GABA transaminase, GabT, in the mitochondria. Disruption of a putative vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT) homologue DdvGAT reduces secreted GABA. We identified the GABAB receptor-like family member GrlB as the major GABA receptor during early development, and either disruption or overexpression of GrlB delays aggregation. This delay is likely the result of an abolished pre-starvation response and late expression of several "early" developmental genes. Distinct genes are employed for GABA generation during sporulation. During sporulation, GadA alone is required for generating GABA and DdvGAT is likely responsible for GABA secretion. GrlE but not GrlB is the GABA receptor during late development.

  18. Evidence that positional information is used to establish the prestalk-prespore pattern in Dictyostelium discoideum aggregates

    PubMed Central

    Krefft, Marianne; Voet, Ludwig; Gregg, James H.; Mairhofer, Helga; Williams, Keith L.

    1984-01-01

    Two contrasting mechanisms have been proposed for the establishment of the prestalk-prespore pattern in the multicellular aggregate of the simple eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum. One involves intermingled, non-position-dependent cell differentiation followed by sorting out which produces the pattern of prestalk cells in the anterior region and prespore cells posteriorly. The second mechanism involves patterning according to the position of cells within the aggregate, in which case intermingled cell types are not expected. Here we use a monoclonal antibody (MUD1), recognising a prespore cell surface antigen, to study the initial appearance of prespore cells in aggregates. Quantitative studies were made with a flow cytometer and frozen sections were used to localise the cells expressing the prespore antigen. This antigen first appeared at the onset of tip formation in the centre of aggregates in a position-dependent fashion. The prespore antigen was not detected in the tip region or in streams of cells entering the aggregate. We re-examined the evidence on which the non-position-dependent differentiation model is based. Our results support the positional model for pattern formation. ImagesFig. 2.Fig. 3.Fig.4. PMID:16453494

  19. A study on sensing and adaptation in Dictyostelium discoideum: guanosine 3',5'-phosphate accumulation and light-scattering responses

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    Cells of Dictyostelium discoideum respond to extracellular cyclic AMP with marked changes in intracellular cyclic GMP levels and light scattering. In this work, defined temporal increases in cyclic AMP were produced by the continuous addition of cyclic AMP to agitated suspensions of cells; concomitant hydrolysis of cyclic AMP by the cells subsequently established a constant, steady state concentration. The cells responded to the initial increase in extracellular cyclic AMP with a rapid increase in the intracellular cyclic GMP concentration and a rapid decrease in light scattering. At cyclic AMP input rates of 0.5- 5 nM X s-1, the fast reactions of cyclic GMP and light scattering had already relaxed while the cyclic AMP concentration in the cell suspension was still increasing. The cells responded to constant concentrations of cyclic AMP with constant elevated cyclic GMP concentrations and constant decreased levels of light scattering. Our results are consistent with the existence of two types of perception systems, one of which adapts to constant stimuli and one of which does not adapt. PMID:6304110

  20. Differentiation-inducing factor 2 modulates chemotaxis via the histidine kinase DhkC-dependent pathway in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Kuwayama, Hidekazu; Kubohara, Yuzuru

    2016-03-01

    Differentiation-inducing factor 1(DIF-1) and DIF-2 are signaling molecules that control chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum. Whereas DIF-1 suppresses chemotaxis in shallow cAMP gradients, DIF-2 enhances chemotaxis under the same conditions via a phosphodiesterase, response regulator A (RegA), which is a part of the DhkC-RdeA-RegA two-component signaling system. In this study, to investigate the mechanism of the chemotaxis regulation by DIF-2, we examined the effects of DIF-2 (and DIF-1) on chemotaxis in rdeA(-) and dhkC(-) mutant strains. In the parental wild-type strains, chemotactic cell movement was suppressed with DIF-1 and enhanced with DIF-2 in shallow cAMP gradients. In contrast, in both rdeA(-) and dhkC(-) strains, chemotaxis was suppressed with DIF-1 but unaffected by DIF-2. The results suggest that DIF-2 modulates chemotaxis via the DhkC-RdeA-RegA signaling system.

  1. mRNA stabilization controls the expression of a class of developmentally regulated genes in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Mangiarotti, Giorgio; Giorda, Roberto; Ceccarelli, Adriano; Perlo, Carla

    1985-01-01

    During the development of Dictyostelium discoideum, several thousand new mRNA species appear in the cytoplasm after the cells have formed stable aggregates. Here we show that six of these late mRNAs, corresponding to six clones randomly chosen from a genomic library, are synthesized from the very beginning of development at a rate comparable to that observed late in development but that transcripts do not accumulate until after aggregation. The early- and late-synthesized mRNAs are identical in size and compete with each other for hybridization to the genomic clones. The early-synthesized mRNAs do not accumulate in the cytoplasm in the preaggregation stage because they are very unstable. Their stability, estimated from the kinetics of incorporation during continuous labeling with 32P, increases by perhaps an order of magnitude in the postaggregation stage. We conclude that mRNA stabilization is the major controlling factor of the expression of these genes. Images PMID:16593597

  2. Evidence that noncoding RNA dutA is a multicopy suppressor of Dictyostelium discoideum STAT protein Dd-STATa.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Nao; Kawata, Takefumi

    2007-06-01

    Dd-STATa, a Dictyostelium discoideum homologue of metazoan STAT transcription factors, is necessary for culmination. We created a mutant strain with partial Dd-STATa activity and used it to screen for unlinked suppressor genes. We screened approximately 450,000 clones from a slug-stage cDNA library for their ability to rescue the culmination defect when overexpressed. There were 12 multicopy suppressors of Dd-STATa, of which 4 encoded segments of a known noncoding RNA, dutA. Expression of dutA is specific to the pstA zone, the region where Dd-STATa is activated. In suppressed strains the expression patterns of several putative Dd-STATa target genes become similar to the wild-type strain. In addition, the amount of the tyrosine-phosphorylated form of Dd-STATa is significantly increased in the suppressed strain. These results indicate that partial copies of dutA may act upstream of Dd-STATa to regulate tyrosine phosphorylation by an unknown mechanism.

  3. Extracellular calmodulin regulates growth and cAMP-mediated chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    O'Day, Danton H.; Huber, Robert J.; Suarez, Andres

    2012-09-07

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Extracellular calmodulin is present throughout growth and development in Dictyostelium. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Extracellular calmodulin localizes within the ECM during development. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Extracellular calmodulin inhibits cell proliferation and increases chemotaxis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Extracellular calmodulin exists in eukaryotic microbes. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Extracellular calmodulin may be functionally as important as intracellular calmodulin. -- Abstract: The existence of extracellular calmodulin (CaM) has had a long and controversial history. CaM is a ubiquitous calcium-binding protein that has been found in every eukaryotic cell system. Calcium-free apo-CaM and Ca{sup 2+}/CaM exert their effects by binding to and regulating the activity of CaM-binding proteins (CaMBPs). Most of the research done to date on CaM and its CaMBPs has focused on their intracellular functions. The presence of extracellular CaM is well established in a number of plants where it functions in proliferation, cell wall regeneration, gene regulation and germination. While CaM has been detected extracellularly in several animal species, including frog, rat, rabbit and human, its extracellular localization and functions are less well established. In contrast the study of extracellular CaM in eukaryotic microbes remains to be done. Here we show that CaM is constitutively expressed and secreted throughout asexual development in Dictyostelium where the presence of extracellular CaM dose-dependently inhibits cell proliferation but increases cAMP mediated chemotaxis. During development, extracellular CaM localizes within the slime sheath where it coexists with at least one CaMBP, the matricellular CaM-binding protein CyrA. Coupled with previous research, this work provides direct evidence for the existence of extracellular CaM in the Dictyostelium and provides insight into its functions in this model amoebozoan.

  4. Excitable waves and direction-sensing in Dictyostelium discoideum: steps towards a chemotaxis model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhowmik, Arpan; Rappel, Wouter-Jan; Levine, Herbert

    2016-02-01

    In recent years, there have been significant advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying chemically directed motility by eukaryotic cells such as Dictyostelium. In particular, the local excitation and global inhibition (LEGI) model has proven capable of providing a framework for quantitatively explaining many experiments that present Dictyostelium cells with tailored chemical stimuli and monitor their subsequent polarization. In their natural setting, cells generate their own directional signals via the detection and secretion of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Here, we couple the LEGI approach to an excitable medium model of the cAMP wave-field that is propagated by the cells and investigate the possibility for this class of models to enable accurate chemotaxis to the cAMP waveforms expected in vivo. Our results indicate that the ultra-sensitive version of the model does an excellent job in providing natural wave rectification, thereby providing a compelling solution to the ‘back-of-the-wave paradox’ during cellular aggregation.

  5. Extracellular matrix family proteins that are potential targets of Dd-STATa in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Nao; Nishio, Keiko; Maeda, Mineko; Urushihara, Hideko; Kawata, Takefumi

    2004-10-01

    Dd-STATa is a functional Dictyostelium homologue of metazoan STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) proteins, which is activated by cAMP and is thereby translocated into the nuclei of anterior tip cells of the prestalk region of the slug. By using in situ hybridization analyses, we found that the SLF308 cDNA clone, which contains the ecmF gene that encodes a putative extracellular matrix protein and is expressed in the anterior tip cells, was greatly down-regulated in the Dd-STATa-null mutant. Disruption of the ecmF gene, however, resulted in almost no phenotypic change. The absence of any obvious mutant phenotype in the ecmF-null mutant could be due to a redundancy of similar genes. In fact, a search of the Dictyostelium whole genome database demonstrates the existence of an additional 16 homologues, all of which contain a cellulose-binding module. Among these homologues, four genes show Dd-STATa-dependent expression, while the others are Dd-STATa-independent. We discuss the potential role of Dd-STATa in morphogenesis via its effect on the interaction between cellulose and these extracellular matrix family proteins.

  6. RNAi silenced Dd-grp94 (Dictyostelium discoideum glucose-regulated protein 94 kDa) cell lines in Dictyostelium exhibit marked reduction in growth rate and delay in development.

    PubMed

    Baviskar, Sandhya N; Shields, Malcolm S

    2010-01-01

    Glucose-regulated 94 kDa protein (Grp94) is a resident of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of multicellular eukaryotes. It is a constitutively expressed protein that is overexpressed in certain abnormal conditions of the cell such as depletion of glucose and calcium, and low oxygen and pH. The protein is also implicated in diseased conditions like cancer and Alzheimer's disease. In this study, the consequences of downregulation of Grp94 were investigated at both unicellular and multicellular stages of Dictyostelium discoideum. Previous studies have shown the expression of Dd-Grp94 (Dictyostelium discoideum glucose-regulated 94 kDa protein) in wild-type cells varies during development, and overexpression of Dd-Grp94 leads to abnormal cell shape and inhibition of development (i.e., formation of fruiting bodies). Grp94 is a known calcium binding protein and an efficient calcium buffer. Therefore, in the present study we hypothesized that downregulation of Dd-Grp94 protein would affect Dictyostelium cell structure, growth, and development. We found that Dd-grp94 RNAi recombinants exhibited reduced growth rate, cell size, and a subtle change in cell motility compared to the parental cells. The recombinants also exhibited a delay in development and small fruiting bodies. These results establish that Dd-grp94 plays a crucial role in determining normal cell structure, growth and differentiation.

  7. Excision of pyrimidine dimers from nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid in ultraviolet-irradiated Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, J.M.; Deering, R.A.

    1987-02-01

    A sensitive endonuclease assay was used to study the fate of pyrimidine dimers introduced by ultraviolet irradiation into the nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid of the cellular slime mold Dictyostellium discoideum. Analysis of the frequency of T4 endonuclease V-induced single-strand breaks by alkaline sucrose gradient sedimentation showed that strain NC4 (rad/sup +/) removed >98% of the dimers induced by irradiation at 40 J/m/sup 2/ (254 nm) within 215 min after irradiation. HPS104 (radC44), a mutant sensitive to ultraviolet irradiation, removed 91% under these conditions, although at a significantly slower rate than NC4: only 8% were removed during the 10- to 15- min period immediately after irradiation, whereas NC4 excised 64% during this interval. HPS104 thus appears to be deficient in the activity(ies) responsible for rapidly incising ultraviolet-irradiated nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid at the sites of pyrimidine dimers.

  8. Reversible inhibition of movement in the amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and its effect on chemoattractant recognition.

    PubMed

    Waligórska, Agnieszka; Wianecka-Skoczeń, Magdalena; Korohoda, Włodzimierz

    2008-01-01

    The cell fixatives formaldehyde and KMnO4 at low concentrations reversibly inhibit the movement of D. discoideum amoebae without directly interfering with cell viability. This inhibition of cell movement is accompanied by the decreased attachment of cells to substratum. When the tenacity and attachment of immobilized cells are artificially increased by compressing cells between two glass surfaces, the amoebae begin to move even in the presence of the fixatives. Amoebae starved for 24 hours, subjected to fixatives and a mineral salt solution in which they remained motionless, maintained chemotactic responses to folic acid and only after a few hours of active locomotion became reactive to cAMP, in contrast to amoebae that reacted to cAMP after starvation in the absence of fixatives.

  9. Identification of tubulin in Dictyostelium discoideum: characterization of some unique properties

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    We used three antitubulin antibodies to localize Dictyostelium tubulin subunits on two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels by Western blotting. All three antibodies, a polyclonal antibody against sea urchin alpha- and beta-tubulin and two monoclonal antibodies against yeast alpha- tubulin, recognize the same set of polypeptides with a molecular weight of 55,000 while focusing at a pH far more basic than all other tubulins. Each antibody specifically stains the microtubule system of slime mold amoebae by indirect immunofluorescence. The microtubule system can be isolated as a major component of the amoeba cytoskeleton, and these preparations are greatly enriched for the presumptive tubulin subunits. The microtubules of these cytoskeletons are resistant to being depolymerized by millimolar concentrations of calcium, while they retain their cold sensitivity. Comparison of peptide maps of slime mold and brain alpha-tubulins indicates that the proteins are related but not identical. Possible explanations for these unusual characteristics are discussed. PMID:6352709

  10. Flow-driven instabilities during aggregation and pattern formation of Dictyostelium Discoideum: Experiments and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholami, Azam; Steinbock, Oliver; Zykov, Vladimir; Bodenschatz, Eberhard

    2013-03-01

    We report the first experimental verification of the Differential Flow Induced Chemical Instability (DIFICI) in a signaling chemotactic biological population, where a differential flow induces traveling waves in the signaling pattern. The traveling wave speed was observed to be proportional to the flow velocity while the wave period was 7 min, which is comparable to that of starved Dictyostelium cells. Analysis and numerical simulations of the Goldbeter model show that the resulting DIFICI wave patterns appear in the oscillatory regime. In the experiments, we observe that the DIFICI wave pattern disappears after 4-5 h of starvation. We extrapolated the Goldbeter model to the experimental situation. This suggests that the dynamics switches from the oscillatory to the excitable regime as the DIFICI waves disappear in the experiment.

  11. Extracellular calmodulin regulates growth and cAMP-mediated chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    O'Day, Danton H; Huber, Robert J; Suarez, Andres

    2012-09-07

    The existence of extracellular calmodulin (CaM) has had a long and controversial history. CaM is a ubiquitous calcium-binding protein that has been found in every eukaryotic cell system. Calcium-free apo-CaM and Ca(2+)/CaM exert their effects by binding to and regulating the activity of CaM-binding proteins (CaMBPs). Most of the research done to date on CaM and its CaMBPs has focused on their intracellular functions. The presence of extracellular CaM is well established in a number of plants where it functions in proliferation, cell wall regeneration, gene regulation and germination. While CaM has been detected extracellularly in several animal species, including frog, rat, rabbit and human, its extracellular localization and functions are less well established. In contrast the study of extracellular CaM in eukaryotic microbes remains to be done. Here we show that CaM is constitutively expressed and secreted throughout asexual development in Dictyostelium where the presence of extracellular CaM dose-dependently inhibits cell proliferation but increases cAMP mediated chemotaxis. During development, extracellular CaM localizes within the slime sheath where it coexists with at least one CaMBP, the matricellular CaM-binding protein CyrA. Coupled with previous research, this work provides direct evidence for the existence of extracellular CaM in the Dictyostelium and provides insight into its functions in this model amoebozoan. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Dual role of cAMP and involvement of both G-proteins and ras in regulation of ERK2 in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Knetsch, M L; Epskamp, S J; Schenk, P W; Wang, Y; Segall, J E; Snaar-Jagalska, B E

    1996-07-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum expresses two Extracellular signal Regulated Kinases, ERK1 and ERK2, which are involved in growth, multicellular development and regulation of adenylyl cyclase. Binding of extracellular cAMP to cAMP receptor 1, a G-protein coupled cell surface receptor, transiently stimulates phosphorylation, activation and nuclear translocation of ERK2. Activation of ERK2 by cAMP is dependent on heterotrimeric G-proteins, since activation of ERK2 is absent in cells lacking the Galpha4 subunit. The small G-protein rasD also activates ERK2. In cells overexpressing a mutated, constitutively active rasD, ERK2 activity is elevated prior to cAMP stimulation. Intracellular cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) are essential for adaptation of the ERK2 response. This report shows that multiple signalling pathways are involved in regulation of ERK2 activity in D.discoideum.

  13. Cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of a cDNA encoding a developmentally regulated Ca(2+)-binding protein from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Coukell, B; Moniakis, J; Grinberg, A

    1995-04-10

    We have cloned a full-length cDNA from Dictyostelium discoideum which encodes a new Ca(2+)-binding protein. The deduced protein (termed CBP1) is composed of 156 amino acids and contains four consensus metal-ligating loop sequences found in helix-loop-helix motifs of many Ca(2+)-binding proteins. When expressed in bacteria as a GST fusion protein, CBP1 binds Ca2+ in a 45Ca2+ overlay assay. CBP1 exhibits little amino acid sequence homology with Dictyostelium calmodulin or calfumirin-1 (CAF-1) except in the putative Ca(2+)-binding regions. Moreover, unlike calmodulin and CAF-1 expression, CBP1 mRNA is expressed preferentially during the multicellular stages of development.

  14. Synthesis of ribosomal proteins in developing Dictyostelium discoideum cells is controlled by the methylation of proteins S24 and S31.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, Giorgio

    2002-01-01

    Ribosomal protein mRNAs left over from growth are selectively excluded from polyribosomes in the first half of Dictyostelium discoideum development. This is due to the fact that they are sequestered by a class of free 40S ribosomal subunits, characterized by possessing a methylated S24 protein. At the time of formation of tight cell aggregates, the methylated S24 is substituted by an unmethylated S24, while protein S31 of the same or other 40S subunits becomes methylated. This leads to a rapid degradation of the ribosomal protein mRNAs.

  15. Dictyostelium discoideum Dgat2 can substitute for the essential function of Dgat1 in triglyceride production but not in ether lipid synthesis.

    PubMed

    Du, Xiaoli; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Gottlieb, Thomas; Kawelke, Steffen; Feussner, Kristin; Rühling, Harald; Feussner, Ivo; Maniak, Markus

    2014-04-01

    Triacylglycerol (TAG), the common energy storage molecule, is formed from diacylglycerol and a coenzyme A-activated fatty acid by the action of an acyl coenzyme A:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT). In order to conduct this step, most organisms rely on more than one enzyme. The two main candidates in Dictyostelium discoideum are Dgat1 and Dgat2. We show, by creating single and double knockout mutants, that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized Dgat1 enzyme provides the predominant activity, whereas the lipid droplet constituent Dgat2 contributes less activity. This situation may be opposite from what is seen in mammalian cells. Dictyostelium Dgat2 is specialized for the synthesis of TAG, as is the mammalian enzyme. In contrast, mammalian DGAT1 is more promiscuous regarding its substrates, producing diacylglycerol, retinyl esters, and waxes in addition to TAG. The Dictyostelium Dgat1, however, produces TAG, wax esters, and, most interestingly, also neutral ether lipids, which represent a significant constituent of lipid droplets. Ether lipids had also been found in mammalian lipid droplets, but the role of DGAT1 in their synthesis was unknown. The ability to form TAG through either Dgat1 or Dgat2 activity is essential for Dictyostelium to grow on bacteria, its natural food substrate.

  16. The Effects of Temperature Variation on the Sensitivity to Pesticides: a Study on the Slime Mould Dictyostelium discoideum (Protozoa).

    PubMed

    Amaroli, Andrea

    2015-07-01

    Slime moulds live in agricultural ecosystems, where they play an important role in the soil fertilization and in the battle against crop pathogens. In an agricultural soil, the amoebae are exposed to different stress factors such as pesticides and weather conditions. The use of pesticides increased up from 0.49 kg per hectare in 1961 to 2 kg in 2004, and the global greenhouse gas emission has grown 70% between 1970 and 2004 leading to a global fluctuation of average surface temperature. Therefore, the European Directive 2009/128/EC has led to a new approach to agriculture, with the transition from an old concept based on high use of pesticides and fossil fuels to an agriculture aware of biodiversity and health issues. We studied the effects of temperature variations and pesticides on Dictyostelium discoideum. We measured the fission rate, the ability to differentiate and the markers of stress such as the activity and presence of pseudocholinesterase and the presence of heat shock protein 70. Our results highlight how the sensitivity to zinc, aluminium, silver, copper, cadmium, mercury, diazinon and dicofol changes for a 2 °C variation from nothing/low to critical. Our work suggests considering, in future regulations, about the use of pesticides as their toxic effect on non-target organisms is strongly influenced by climate temperatures. In addition, there is a need for a new consideration of the protozoa, which takes into account recent researches about the presence in this microorganism of classical neurotransmitters that, similar to those in animals, make protozoa an innocent target of neurotoxic pesticides in the battle against the pest crops.

  17. Structure of the 34 kDa F-actin-bundling protein ABP34 from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Kyu; Kim, Ji-Hye; Kim, Ji-Sun; Kang, Sa-Ouk

    2015-09-01

    The crystal structure of the 34 kDa F-actin-bundling protein ABP34 from Dictyostelium discoideum was solved by Ca(2+)/S-SAD phasing and refined at 1.89 Å resolution. ABP34 is a calcium-regulated actin-binding protein that cross-links actin filaments into bundles. Its in vitro F-actin-binding and F-actin-bundling activities were confirmed by a co-sedimentation assay and transmission electron microscopy. The co-localization of ABP34 with actin in cells was also verified. ABP34 adopts a two-domain structure with an EF-hand-containing N-domain and an actin-binding C-domain, but has no reported overall structural homologues. The EF-hand is occupied by a calcium ion with a pentagonal bipyramidal coordination as in the canonical EF-hand. The C-domain structure resembles a three-helical bundle and superposes well onto the rod-shaped helical structures of some cytoskeletal proteins. Residues 216-244 in the C-domain form part of the strongest actin-binding sites (193-254) and exhibit a conserved sequence with the actin-binding region of α-actinin and ABP120. Furthermore, the second helical region of the C-domain is kinked by a proline break, offering a convex surface towards the solvent area which is implicated in actin binding. The F-actin-binding model suggests that ABP34 binds to the side of the actin filament and residues 216-244 fit into a pocket between actin subdomains -1 and -2 through hydrophobic interactions. These studies provide insights into the calcium coordination in the EF-hand and F-actin-binding site in the C-domain of ABP34, which are associated through interdomain interactions.

  18. Wheat germ agglutinin binds to the contact site A glycoprotein of Dictyostelium discoideum and inhibits EDTA-stable cell adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, M.; Stadler, J.; Bertholdt, G.; Gerisch, G.

    1984-01-01

    Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a lectin that primarily reacts with N-acetylglucosamine residues, specifically inhibits the EDTA-stable type of intercellular adhesion of aggregation competent Dictyostelium discoideum cells. The major WGA-binding protein of these cells is a developmentally-regulated glycolipoprotein of 80 kd apparent mol. wt., designated as contact site A. This glycoprotein is a target site of antibody fragments that block the EDTA-stable cell adhesion, and is characterized by sulfated carbohydrate residues. WGA does not significantly bind to glycoproteins of a mutant, HL220, which produces a 68-kd component in place of the 80-kd glycoprotein. Inhibition of N-glycosylation by tunicamycin causes wild-type cells to produce a WGA-binding but unsulfated 66-kd component and a non-binding 53-kd component. These results indicate that the 80-kd glycoprotein contains two classes of carbohydrate residues, a WGA-binding one that is defective in HL220, and another, sulfated, one that is absent from the 66-kd wild-type product; both are missing in the 53-kd protein. WGA and a monoclonal antibody that is blocked by N-acetylglucosamine were further used to probe for glycoproteins in the multicellular slug stage that share carbohydrate structures – and possibly functions – with the contact site A glycoprotein. Glycoproteins in the 95-kd range have previously been implicated in cell-to-cell adhesion during the slug stage. We distinguished a 95-kd glycoprotein that binds WGA from another one that binds antibody. ImagesFig. 1.Fig. 2.Fig. 3.Fig. 4.Fig. 5.Fig. 7.Fig. 8.Fig. 9. PMID:16453571

  19. Lack of Ecological and Life History Context Can Create the Illusion of Social Interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-García, Ricardo; Tarnita, Corina E.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of social microbes often focus on one fitness component (reproductive success within the social complex), with little information about or attention to other stages of the life cycle or the ecological context. This can lead to paradoxical results. The life cycle of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum includes a multicellular stage in which not necessarily clonal amoebae aggregate upon starvation to form a possibly chimeric (genetically heterogeneous) fruiting body made of dead stalk cells and spores. The lab-measured reproductive skew in the spores of chimeras indicates strong social antagonism that should result in low genotypic diversity, which is inconsistent with observations from nature. Two studies have suggested that this inconsistency stems from the one-dimensional assessment of fitness (spore production) and that the solution lies in tradeoffs between multiple life-history traits, e.g.: spore size versus viability; and spore-formation (via aggregation) versus staying vegetative (as non-aggregated cells). We develop an ecologically-grounded, socially-neutral model (i.e. no social interactions between genotypes) for the life cycle of social amoebae in which we theoretically explore multiple non-social life-history traits, tradeoffs and tradeoff-implementing mechanisms. We find that spore production comes at the expense of time to complete aggregation, and, depending on the experimental setup, spore size and viability. Furthermore, experimental results regarding apparent social interactions within chimeric mixes can be qualitatively recapitulated under this neutral hypothesis, without needing to invoke social interactions. This allows for simple potential resolutions to the previously paradoxical results. We conclude that the complexities of life histories, including social behavior and multicellularity, can only be understood in the appropriate multidimensional ecological context, when considering all stages of the life cycle. PMID:27977666

  20. Lack of Ecological and Life History Context Can Create the Illusion of Social Interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Martínez-García, Ricardo; Tarnita, Corina E

    2016-12-01

    Studies of social microbes often focus on one fitness component (reproductive success within the social complex), with little information about or attention to other stages of the life cycle or the ecological context. This can lead to paradoxical results. The life cycle of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum includes a multicellular stage in which not necessarily clonal amoebae aggregate upon starvation to form a possibly chimeric (genetically heterogeneous) fruiting body made of dead stalk cells and spores. The lab-measured reproductive skew in the spores of chimeras indicates strong social antagonism that should result in low genotypic diversity, which is inconsistent with observations from nature. Two studies have suggested that this inconsistency stems from the one-dimensional assessment of fitness (spore production) and that the solution lies in tradeoffs between multiple life-history traits, e.g.: spore size versus viability; and spore-formation (via aggregation) versus staying vegetative (as non-aggregated cells). We develop an ecologically-grounded, socially-neutral model (i.e. no social interactions between genotypes) for the life cycle of social amoebae in which we theoretically explore multiple non-social life-history traits, tradeoffs and tradeoff-implementing mechanisms. We find that spore production comes at the expense of time to complete aggregation, and, depending on the experimental setup, spore size and viability. Furthermore, experimental results regarding apparent social interactions within chimeric mixes can be qualitatively recapitulated under this neutral hypothesis, without needing to invoke social interactions. This allows for simple potential resolutions to the previously paradoxical results. We conclude that the complexities of life histories, including social behavior and multicellularity, can only be understood in the appropriate multidimensional ecological context, when considering all stages of the life cycle.

  1. Toxic effects of mercury on the cell nucleus of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Boatti, Lara; Rapallo, Fabio; Viarengo, Aldo; Marsano, Francesco

    2017-02-01

    Governmental agencies (www.epa.gov/mercury) and the scientific community have reported on the high toxicity due to mercury. Indeed, exposure to mercury can cause severe injury to the central nervous system and kidney in humans. Beyond its recognized toxicity, little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in the actions of this heavy metal. Mercury has been also observed to form insoluble fibrous protein aggregates in the cell nucleus. We used D. discoideum to evaluate micronuclei formation and, since mercury is able to induce oxidative stress that could bring to protein aggregation, we assessed nuclear protein carbonylation by Western Blot. We observed a significant increase in micronuclei formation and 14 carbonylated proteins were identified. Moreover, we used isotope-coded protein label (ICPL) and mass spectrometry analysis of proteins obtained by lysis of purified nuclei, before of tryptic digestion to quantify nuclear proteins affected by mercury. In particular, we examined the effects of mercury that associate a classical genotoxic assay to proteomic effects into the nucleus. The data present direct evidences for mercury genotoxicity, nuclear protein carbonylation, quantitative change in core histones, and the involvement of pseudouridine synthase in mercury toxicity. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 32: 417-425, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Differentiation of Dictyostelium discoideum vegetative cells into spores during earth orbit in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, A.; Ohnishi, K.; Takahashi, S.; Masukawa, M.; Sekikawa, K.; Amano, T.; Nakano, T.; Nagaoka, S.; Ohnishi, T.

    2001-01-01

    We reported previously that emerged amoebae of Dictyosterium ( D.) discoideum grew, aggregated and differentiated to fruiting bodies with normal morphology in space. Here, we investigated the effects of space radiation and/or microgravity on the number, viability, kinetics of germination, growth rate and mutation frequency of spores formed in space in a radiation-sensitive strain, γs13, and the parental strain, NC4. In γs13, there were hardly spores in the fruiting bodies formed in space. In NC4, we found a decrease in the number of spores, a delay in germination of the spores and delayed start of cell growth of the spores formed in space when compared to the ground control. However, the mutation frequency of the NC4 spores formed in space was similar to that of the ground control. We conclude that the depression of spore formation might be induced by microgravity and/or space radiation through the depression of some stage(s) of DNA repair during cell differentiation in the slime mold.

  3. Pseudopodium extension and amoeboid locomotion in Dictyostelium discoideum: Possible autowave behaviour of F-actin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vicker, Michael G.; Xiang, Wei; Plath, Peter J.; Wosniok, Werner

    1997-02-01

    Supramolecular patterns of filamentous (F-)actin up to several micrometres across were visualized within projections of locomotory amoebae after cell fixation and staining with phalloidin-rhodamine. The patterns included rings, single and double spirals, some apparently colliding and disintegrating. Cell stimulation with a pulse of the chemoattractant cyclic AMP induced damping oscillations in F-actin ring frequency with a period of 6-7 s. Ring front propagation after stimulation was modelled by Markov and Fourier methods at 3.1-17.5 μm/min, similar to actual cell speed. We argue that the dynamics and detailed morphological correspondence of these F-actin structures to wave patterns in chemical reaction-diffusion systems strongly supports the interpretation that Dictyostelium cytoplasm behaves as an unstable, excitable medium enabling the propagation of self-organized, physico-chemical relaxation oscillations, i.e. autowaves, of reversible F-actin assembly or aggregation - a new state of actin - fundamental to pseudopodium extension, cell locomotion, chemotaxis and other cell functions.

  4. The intracellular location of lysosomal enzymes in developing Dictyostelium discoideum cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lenhard, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    The author has found that developing Dictyostelium cells contain two distinct acid hydrolase-containing organelles. Vesicles from cells at different stages of development were separated using Percoll density gradients. The lower density vesicles (LDVs or lysosomes) were present in nourished and starved cells. The higher density vesicles (HDVs) arose during starvation-induced differentiation. HDVs lacked two prestalk cell-specific lysosomal enzymes which were contained in LDVs. Prespore cell-specific spore coat proteins were detected in HDVs by ELISA. ({sup 35}S)sulfate labeling revealed that HDVs contained newly made glycoproteins as well as glycoproteins found in preexisting LDVs. Pulse-chase experiments using ({sup 35}S)methionine revealed that {alpha}-mannosidase from pre-existing LDVs an newly made {alpha}-mannosidase had entered HDVs. These data suggest that prespore LDVs mature to become HDVs. He has obtained evidence that HDVs are identical to prespore vesicles. Prespore vesicles are specialized secretory organelles which arise during prespore cell differentiation and which secrete their contents during terminal differentiation. As prespore vesicles secreted their contents, there was a co-incidental increase in extracellular acid hydrolase activity and a decrease in HDV-associated enzyme activity. Electron micrographs revealed that prespore cells contained two acid phosphatase-staining organelles, one of which appeared to be identical to lysosomes from nourished cells and a second which had features similar to prespore vesicles. Ricin-gold affinity electron microscopy was used to label the mucopolysaccharide component of prespore vesicles and the spore coat. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed co-localization of {alpha}-mannosidase with ricin-gold in prespore vesicles and the spore coat.

  5. Functional expression of Ca²⁺ dependent mammalian transmembrane gap junction protein Cx43 in slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Stefan; Weiss, Ingrid M; Eckstein, Volker; Tanaka, Motomu

    2012-03-09

    In this paper, we expressed murine gap junction protein Cx43 in Dictyostelium discoideum by introducing the specific vector pDXA. In the first step, the successful expression of Cx43 and Cx43-eGFP was verified by (a) Western blot (anti-Cx43, anti-GFP), (b) fluorescence microscopy (eGFP-Cx43 co-expression, Cx43 immunostaining), and (c) flow cytometry analysis (eGFP-Cx43 co-expression). Although the fluorescence signals from cells expressing Cx43-eGFP detected by fluorescence microscopy seem relatively low, analysis by flow cytometry demonstrated that more than 60% of cells expressed Cx43-eGFP. In order to evaluate the function of expressed Cx43 in D. discoideum, we examined the hemi-channel function of Cx43. In this series of experiments, the passive uptake of carboxyfluorescein was monitored using flow cytometric analysis. A significant number of the transfected cells showed a prominent dye uptake in the absence of Ca(2+). The dye uptake by transfected cells in the presence of Ca(2+) was even lower than the non-specific dye uptake by non-transformed Ax3 orf+ cells, confirming that Cx43 expressed in D. discoideum retains its Ca(2+)-dependent, specific gating function. The expression of gap junction proteins expressed in slime molds opens a possibility to the biological significance of intercellular communications in development and maintenance of multicellular organisms.

  6. Structural characterization of Dictyostelium discoideum prespore-specific gene D19 and of its product, cell surface glycoprotein PsA.

    PubMed Central

    Early, A E; Williams, J G; Meyer, H E; Por, S B; Smith, E; Williams, K L; Gooley, A A

    1988-01-01

    The Dictyostelium discoideum cell surface antigen PsA is a glycoprotein which first appears in the multicellular stage soon after tip formation and is selectively expressed on prespore cells. The D19 gene encodes an mRNA sequence which is highly enriched in prespore over prestalk cells in the slug stage. We have determined 81 amino acid residues of N-terminal sequence from immunoaffinity-purified PsA protein and shown this sequence to be identical to the predicted sequence of the D19 gene. There are several short repeat elements close to the C terminus, and unequal crossing-over within these is proposed to account for the size polymorphism observed in PsA protein isolated from different D. discoideum strains. The repeats are proline rich and show similarity to the C-terminal region of the D. discoideum cell adhesion molecule, contact sites A. The extreme C terminus, which is also homologous to contact sites A, is characteristic of proteins attached to the plasma membrane via a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol link. We have marked the PsA gene by insertion of an oligonucleotide encoding an epitope of the human c-myc protein. A construct containing this gene and 990 base pairs of 5'-flanking region directed correct temporal and spatial mRNA accumulation. We found the marked PsA protein, detected with the human c-myc antibody, to be correctly localized on the surface of cells. Images PMID:2850494

  7. Mapping of a cell-binding domain in the cell adhesion molecule gp80 of Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    At the aggregation stage of Dictyostelium discoideum development, a cell surface glycoprotein of Mr 80,000 (gp80) has been found to mediate the EDTA-resistant type of cell-cell adhesion via homophilic interaction (Siu, C.-H., A. Cho, and A. H. C. Choi. 1987. J. Cell Biol. 105:2523-2533). To investigate the structure-function relationships of gp80, we have isolated full length cDNA clones for gp80 and determined the DNA sequence. The deduced structure of gp80 showed three major domains. An amino-terminal globular domain composed of the bulk of the protein is supported by a short stalk region, which is followed by a membrane anchor at the carboxy terminus. Structural analysis suggested that the cell-binding domain of gp80 resides within the globular domain near the amino terminus. To investigate the relationship of the cell- binding activity to this region of the polypeptide, three protein A/gp80 (PA80) gene fusions were constructed using the expression vector pRIT2T. These PA80 fusion proteins were assayed for their ability to bind to aggregation stage cells. Binding of 125I-labeled fusion proteins PA80I (containing the Val123 to Ile514 fragment of gp80) and PA80II (Val123 to Ala258) was dosage dependent and could be inhibited by precoating cells with the cell cohesion-blocking mAb 80L5C4. On the other hand, there was no appreciable binding of PA80III (Ile174 to Ile514) to cells. Reassociation of cells was significantly inhibited in the presence of PA80I or PA80II. In addition, 125I-labeled PA80II exhibited homophilic interaction with immobilized PA80I, PA80II, or gp80. The results of these studies lead to the mapping of a cell- binding domain in the region between Val123 and Leu173 of gp80 and provide direct evidence that the cell-binding activity of gp80 resides in the protein moiety. PMID:3182938

  8. Identification of phospholipase B from Dictyostelium discoideum reveals a new lipase family present in mammals, flies and nematodes, but not yeast.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Clive P; Insall, Robert; Haynes, Lee; Cockcroft, Shamshad

    2004-09-01

    The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum exhibits high activities of phospholipase and lysophospholipase [Ferber, Munder, Fischer and Gerisch (1970) Eur. J. Biochem. 14, 253-257]. We assayed Dictyostelium lysates to demonstrate the presence of a highly active phospholipase B (PLB) enzyme that removed both fatty-acid chains from phosphatidylcholine and produced the water-soluble glycerophosphorylcholine. We purified the PLB activity from Dictyostelium cytosol using standard agarose media (size exclusion and ion exchange), and combined this with an affinity purification step using myristoylated ARF1 (ADP-ribosylation factor 1), a protein which has a single fatty acid at its N-terminus. Two proteins co-purified (48 kDa and 65 kDa), and the 48 kDa protein was digested with trypsin, peptide fragments were separated by reverse-phase chromatography, and the resultant peptides were sequenced by Edman degradation. From the peptide sequences obtained, database searches revealed a gene which encodes a protein of 65 kDa with unknown function. The 48 kDa protein therefore appears to be a fragment of the full-length 65 kDa product. Expression of the gene in Escherichia coli confirmed that it encodes a PLB. Characterization of its substrate specificity indicated that, in addition to phosphatidylcholine deacylation, the enzyme also hydrolysed phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine. The PLB identified in the present study is not related to existing PLBs found in bacteria, fungi or mammals. There are, however, genes similar to Dictyostelium PLB in mammals, flies, worms and Giardia, but not in yeast. We therefore have identified a novel family of intracellular PLBs.

  9. MicroRNAs in Amoebozoa: Deep sequencing of the small RNA population in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum reveals developmentally regulated microRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Avesson, Lotta; Reimegård, Johan; Wagner, E. Gerhart H.; Söderbom, Fredrik

    2012-01-01

    The RNA interference machinery has served as a guardian of eukaryotic genomes since the divergence from prokaryotes. Although the basic components have a shared origin, silencing pathways directed by small RNAs have evolved in diverse directions in different eukaryotic lineages. Micro (mi)RNAs regulate protein-coding genes and play vital roles in plants and animals, but less is known about their functions in other organisms. Here, we report, for the first time, deep sequencing of small RNAs from the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. RNA from growing single-cell amoebae as well as from two multicellular developmental stages was sequenced. Computational analyses combined with experimental data reveal the expression of miRNAs, several of them exhibiting distinct expression patterns during development. To our knowledge, this is the first report of miRNAs in the Amoebozoa supergroup. We also show that overexpressed miRNA precursors generate miRNAs and, in most cases, miRNA* sequences, whose biogenesis is dependent on the Dicer-like protein DrnB, further supporting the presence of miRNAs in D. discoideum. In addition, we find miRNAs processed from hairpin structures originating from an intron as well as from a class of repetitive elements. We believe that these repetitive elements are sources for newly evolved miRNAs. PMID:22875808

  10. Characterization and genetic mapping of modA. A mutation in the post-translational modification of the glycosidases of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Free, S J; Schimke, R T; Freeze, H; Loomis, W F

    1978-06-25

    We have isolated a mutant of Dictyostelium discoideum, M31, which produces a reduced number of alpha-mannosidase-1 molecules per cell during the developmental program of the organism. We find that several of the glycosidases, a group of lysosomal proteins produced by D. discoideum, are altered in strain M31 and that this strain produces a reduced level of at least three of these activities. These enzymes do not share a common protein subunit but are known to share a common antigenic determinant which is, in part, carbohydrate in nature. In the wild type parent of M31, alpha-mannosidase-1 is modified by the addition of mannose and glucosamine (probably as N-acetylglucosamine) in the molar ratio of 5:2. alpha-Mannosidase-1 was also found to contain phosphoserine/phosphothreonine residues. alpha-Mannosidase-1 and other glycosidases are electrophoretically less negative when isolated from strain M31 than when isolated from wild type cells. The mutation present in M31, modA, appears to affect posttranslational modification, modA is a recessive mutation which we map onto linkage group I.

  11. Quantitative analysis of cell motility and chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum by using an image processing system and a novel chemotaxis chamber providing stationary chemical gradients

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    An image processing system was programmed to automatically track and digitize the movement of amebae under phase-contrast microscopy. The amebae moved in a novel chemotaxis chamber designed to provide stable linear attractant gradients in a thin agarose gel. The gradients were established by pumping attractant and buffer solutions through semipermeable hollow fibers embedded in the agarose gel. Gradients were established within 30 min and shown to be stable for at least a further 90 min. By using this system it is possible to collect detailed data on the movement of large numbers of individual amebae in defined attractant gradients. We used the system to study motility and chemotaxis by a score of Dictyostelium discoideum wild-type and mutant strains, including "streamer" mutants which are generally regarded as being altered in chemotaxis. None of the mutants were altered in chemotaxis in the optimal cAMP gradient of 25 nM/mm, with a midpoint of 25 nM. The dependence of chemotaxis on cAMP concentration, gradient steepness, and temporal changes in the gradient were investigated. We also analyzed the relationship between turning behavior and the direction of travel during chemotaxis in stable gradients. The results suggest that during chemotaxis D. discoideum amebae spatially integrate information about local increases in cAMP concentration at various points on the cell surface. PMID:2537839

  12. Global/temporal gene expression analysis of Escherichia coli in the early stages of symbiotic relationship development with the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Kumiko; Mori, Kotaro; Suzuki, Shingo; Ono, Naoaki; Furusawa, Chikara; Yomo, Tetsuya

    2009-05-01

    Escherichia coli and the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum form stable viscous symbiotic colonies in the laboratory. To examine changes in E. coli gene expression during establishment of this symbiotic relationship, cells of symbiotic co-cultures and monocultures at various time points were subjected to microarrays analysis. Genes changed significantly over time compared to the initial gene expression level were determined as characteristics of GO function categories. The categories that appeared significantly at the same sampling time points between the two cultures were also identified. Up-regulation of genes from several GO categories associated with polysaccharide synthesis, cell wall degradation, and iron acquisition as well as down-regulation of genes from GO categories associated with biosynthesis through starvation response were observed in co-cultures, indicating exchange of molecules between the two organisms. Up-regulation of genes from several GO categories associated with anaerobic respiration and flagella biosynthesis were also observed, indicating that the environment inside symbiotic colonies was similar to that in developed biofilms. Up-regulation of genes associated with energy-generating systems indicated that E. coli prolonged survival within the symbiotic colony. Thus, E. coli showed not only molecule exchange but also altered expression of various genes in symbiosis with D. discoideum.

  13. Relevance of the bioavailable fraction of DDT and its metabolites in freshwater sediment toxicity: New insight into the mode of action of these chemicals on Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Sforzini, Susanna; Governa, Daniela; Boeri, Marta; Oliveri, Laura; Oldani, Alessandro; Vago, Fabio; Viarengo, Aldo; Borrelli, Raffaella

    2016-10-01

    In this work, the toxicity of lake sediments contaminated with DDT and its metabolites DDD and DDE (collectively, DDX) was evaluated with widely used toxicity tests (i.e., Vibrio fischeri, Daphnia magna, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, and Lumbriculus variegatus) and with the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, a model organism that is also suitable for studying pollutant-induced alterations at the molecular and cellular levels. Although the DDX concentration in the sediments was high (732.5 ppb), the results suggested a minimal environmental risk; in fact, no evidence of harmful effects was found using the different bioassays or when we considered the results of more sensitive sublethal biomarkers in D. discoideum amoebae. In line with the biological results, the chemical data showed that the concentration of DDX in the pore water (in general a highly bioavailable phase) showed a minimal value (0.0071ppb). To confirm the importance of the bioavailability of the toxic chemicals in determining their biological effects and to investigate the mechanisms of DDX toxicity, we exposed D. discoideum amoebae to 732.5ppb DDX in water solution. DDX had no effect on cell viability; however, a strong reduction in amoebae replication rate was observed, which depended mainly on a reduction in endocytosis rate and on lysosomal and mitochondrial alterations. In the presence of a moderate and transient increase in reactive oxygen species, the glutathione level in DDX-exposed amoebae drastically decreased. These results highlight that studies of the bioavailability of pollutants in environmental matrices and their biological effects are essential for site-specific ecological risk assessment. Moreover, glutathione depletion in DDX-exposed organisms is a new finding that could open the possibility of developing new pesticide mixtures that are more effective against DDT-resistant malaria vectors.

  14. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor roscovitine inhibits kinase activity, cell proliferation, multicellular development, and Cdk5 nuclear translocation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Huber, Robert J; O'Day, Danton H

    2012-03-01

    Roscovitine, a cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor, inhibited kinase activity and the axenic growth of Dictyostelium discoideum at micromolar concentrations. Growth was almost fully rescued in 50 µM and ≈ 50% rescued in 100 µM roscovitine-treated cultures by the over-expression of Cdk5-GFP. This supports the importance of Cdk5 function during cell proliferation in Dictyostelium and indicates that Cdk5 is a primary target of the drug. Roscovitine did not affect the expression of Cdk5 protein during axenic growth but did inhibit its nuclear translocation. This novel result suggests that the effects of roscovitine could be due in part to altering Cdk5 translocation in other systems as well. Kinase activity was inhibited by roscovitine in assays using AX3 whole cell lysates, but not in assays using lysates from Cdk5-GFP over-expressing cells. At higher concentrations, roscovitine impaired slug and fruiting body formation. Fruiting bodies that did form were small and produced relatively fewer spores many of which were round. However, roscovitine did not affect stalk cell differentiation. Together with previous findings, these data reveal that roscovitine inhibits Cdk5 during growth and as yet undefined Cdks during mid-late development. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Mutation of an EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding motif in phospholipase C of Dictyostelium discoideum: inhibition of activity but no effect on Ca(2+)-dependence.

    PubMed

    Drayer, A L; Meima, M E; Derks, M W; Tuik, R; van Haastert, P J

    1995-10-15

    Phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C (PLC) is dependent on Ca2+ ions for substrate hydrolysis. The role of an EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding motif in Ca(2+)-dependent PLC activity was investigated by site-directed mutagenesis of the Dictyostelium discoideum PLC enzyme. Amino acid residues with oxygen-containing side chains at co-ordinates x, y, z, -x and -z of the putative Ca(2+)-binding-loop sequence were replaced by isoleucine (x), valine (y) or alanine (z, -x and -z). The mutated proteins were expressed in a Dictyostelium cell line with a disrupted plc gene displaying no endogenous PLC activity, and PLC activity was measured in cell lysates at different Ca2+ concentrations. Replacement of aspartate at position x, which is considered to play an essential role in Ca2+ binding, had little effect on Ca2+ affinity and maximal enzyme activity. A mutant with substitutions at both aspartate residues in position x and y also showed no decrease in Ca2+ affinity, whereas the maximal PLC activity was reduced by 60%. Introduction of additional mutations in the EF-hand revealed that the Ca2+ concentration giving half-maximal activity was unaltered, but PLC activity levels at saturating Ca2+ concentrations were markedly decreased. The results demonstrate that, although the EF-hand domain is required for enzyme activity, it is not the site that regulates the Ca(2+)-dependence of the PLC reaction.

  16. Partial genetic suppression of a loss-of-function mutant of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis-associated protease TPP1 in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Jonathan E; Gomer, Richard H

    2015-02-01

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is the most common childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease. NCL is inevitably fatal, and there is currently no treatment available. Children with NCL show a progressive decline in movement, vision and mental abilities, and an accumulation of autofluorescent deposits in neurons and other cell types. Late-infantile NCL is caused by mutations in the lysosomal protease tripeptidyl peptidase 1 (TPP1). TPP1 cleaves tripeptides from the N-terminus of proteins in vitro, but little is known about the physiological function of TPP1. TPP1 shows wide conservation in vertebrates but it is not found in Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we characterize ddTpp1, a TPP1 ortholog present in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Lysates from cells lacking ddTpp1 show a reduced but not abolished ability to cleave a TPP1 substrate, suggesting that other Dictyostelium enzymes can perform this cleavage. ddTpp1 and human TPP1 localize to the lysosome in Dictyostelium, indicating conserved function and trafficking. Cells that lack ddTpp1 show precocious multicellular development and a reduced ability to form spores during development. When cultured in autophagy-stimulating conditions, cells lacking ddTpp1 rapidly decrease in size and are less viable than wild-type cells, suggesting that one function of ddTpp1 could be to limit autophagy. Cells that lack ddTpp1 exhibit strongly impaired development in the presence of the lysosome-perturbing drug chloroquine, and this phenotype can be suppressed through a secondary mutation in the gene that we name suppressor of tpp1(-) A (stpA), which encodes a protein with some similarity to mammalian oxysterol-binding proteins (OSBPs). Taken together, these results suggest that targeting specific proteins could be a viable way to suppress the effects of loss of TPP1 function.

  17. N-glycomic profiling of a glucosidase II mutant of Dictyostelium discoideum by ''off-line'' liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Hykollari, Alba; Dragosits, Martin; Rendić, Dubravko; Wilson, Iain B H; Paschinger, Katharina

    2014-08-01

    In this study, we have performed the first mass spectrometric analysis of N-glycans of the M31 mutant strain of the cellular slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum, previously shown to have a defect in glucosidase II. Together with glucosidase I, this enzyme mediates part of the initial processing of N-glycans; defects in either glucosidase are associated with human diseases and result in an accumulation of incorrectly processed oligosaccharides which are not, or only poor, substrates for a range of downstream enzymes. To examine the effect of the glucosidase II mutation in Dictyostelium, we employed off-line LC-MALDI-TOF MS in combination with chemical and enzymatic treatments and MS/MS to analyze the neutral and anionic N-glycans of the mutant as compared to the wild type. The major neutral species were, as expected, of the composition Hex10-11 HexNAc2-3 with one or two terminal glucose residues. Consistent with the block in processing of neutral N-glycans caused by the absence of glucosidase II, fucose was apparently absent from the N-glycans and bisecting N-acetylglucosamine was rare. The major anionic oligosaccharides were sulfated and/or methylphosphorylated forms of Hex8-11 HexNAc2-3 , many of which surprisingly lacked glucose residues entirely. As anionic N-glycans are considered to be mostly associated with lysosomal enzymes in Dictyostelium, we hypothesise that glycosidases present in the acidic compartments may act on the oligosaccharides attached to such slime mould proteins. Furthermore, our chosen analytical approach enabled us, via observation of diagnostic negative-mode MS/MS fragments, to determine the fine structure of the methylphosphorylated and sulfated N-glycans of the M31 glucosidase mutant in their native state.

  18. UDP-GlcNAc:Glycoprotein N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphotransferase mediates the initial step in the formation of the methylphosphomannosyl residues on the high mannose oligosaccharides of Dictyostelium discoideum glycoproteins.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yi; West, Christopher M; Kornfeld, Stuart

    2010-03-19

    The Dictyostelium discoideum gene gpt1 encodes a protein XP_638036 with sequence similarity to the alpha/beta subunits of mammalian UDP-GlcNAc:Glycoprotein N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphotransferase. We now demonstrate that extracts of D. discoideum clones with mutations in this gene transfer GlcNAc-P from UDP-GlcNAc to mannose residues at less than 5% the wild type value. Further, the lysosomal hydrolases of these mutant clones fail to bind to a cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor affinity column, indicating a lack of methylphosphomannosyl residues on the high mannose oligosaccharides of these proteins. We conclude that the gpt1 gene product catalyzes the initial step in the formation of methylphosphomannosyl residues on D. discoideum lysosomal hydrolases.

  19. Chemotactic responses of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae to a cyclic AMP concentration gradient: evidence to support a spatial mechanism for sensing cyclic AMP.

    PubMed

    Tani, T; Naitoh, Y

    1999-01-01

    The motile responses of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae to a cyclic AMP (cAMP) concentration gradient were examined using a novel assay system. In this system, a cAMP concentration gradient was generated, while the overall cAMP concentration could be either increased or decreased in a chamber containing amoebae. The chemotactic responses of amoebae were examined immediately after they had been subjected to the cAMP concentration gradient. Amoebae moving in random directions in a reference solution ascended a cAMP concentration gradient after they had been exposed to the gradient irrespective of whether there was an increase or a decrease in the overall cAMP concentration. This strongly supports the idea that D. discoideum amoebae can sense a spatial cAMP gradient around them and that this causes their chemoaccumulation behavior. Ascending locomotion became less conspicuous when the amoebae were treated with a homogeneous cAMP solution for approximately 8 min before exposure to a cAMP gradient. This cAMP pretreatment reduced the sensitivity of the amoeba to a cAMP concentration gradient. The cAMP concentration gradient could be reversed in less than 30 s in this assay system, allowing the generation of a cAMP wave by accumulating amoebae to be mimicked. The ascending amoebae continued to move in the same direction for 1-2 min after the gradient had been reversed. This is consistent with the well-known observation that reversal of a cAMP concentration gradient experienced by the amoebae passing through a cAMP wave does not negate their chemotactic movement towards the accumulation center.

  20. Folic acid and pterin deaminases in Dictyostelium discoideum: kinetic properties and regulation by folic acid, pterin, and adenosine 3',5'-phosphate.

    PubMed Central

    Wurster, B; Bek, F; Butz, U

    1981-01-01

    Kinetic data obtained for deamination of pterin by the extracellular fraction from Dictyostelium discoideum yielded apparently linear Lineweaver-Burk plots for pterin. The Michaelis constant for pterin was 30 microM. The data for folic acid deamination yielded convex Lineweaver-Burk plots. Convex Lineweaver-Burk plots could result from the presence of two types of enzymes with different affinities. The data for folic acid deamination were analyzed mathematically for two types of enzymes. This analysis produced Michaelis constants for folic acid of 1.8 and 23 microM competition studies suggested that an enzyme with low affinity nonspecifically catalyzed the deamination of folic acid and pterin, whereas an enzyme with high affinity was a specific folic acid deaminase. A specific folic acid deaminase with high affinity appeared to be present on the surface of D. discoideum cells. The Michaelis constant for this enzyme was 2.6 microM. Cells growing in nutrient broth and cells starved in phosphate buffer released folic acid and pterin deaminases. The quantity of deaminase activities released by the cells appeared to be controlled by chemoattractants. Starving cells that were supplied with folic acid, pterin, or adenosine 3',5'-phosphate increased their extracellular folic acid and pterin deaminase activities to a larger extent than did cell suspensions to which no chemoattractants were added. Administration of folic acid or pterin to starving cells caused increases of the activity of extracellular adenosine 3',5'-phosphate phosphodiesterase and repressed increases of the activity of phosphodiesterase inhibitor. PMID:6270062

  1. Expression and organization of BP74, a cyclic AMP-regulated gene expressed during Dictyostelium discoideum development.

    PubMed Central

    Hopkinson, S B; Pollenz, R S; Drummond, I; Chisholm, R L

    1989-01-01

    We have characterized a cDNA and the corresponding gene for a cyclic AMP-inducible gene expressed during Dictyostelium development. This gene, BP74, was found to be first expressed about the time of aggregate formation, approximately 6 h after starvation. Accumulation of BP74 mRNA did not occur in Dictyostelium cells that had been starved in fast-shaken suspension cultures but was induced in similar cultures to which cyclic AMP pulses had been added. The BP74 cDNA and gene were characterized by DNA sequence analysis and transcriptional mapping. When the BP74 promoter region was fused with a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene and reintroduced into Dictyostelium cells, the transfected chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene displayed the same developmentally regulated pattern of expression as did the endogenous BP74 gene, suggesting that all of the cis-acting elements required for regulated expression were carried by a 2-kilobase cloned genomic fragment. On the basis of sequence analysis, the gene appeared to encode a protein containing a 20-residue hydrophobic sequence at the amino-terminal end and 26 copies of a 20-amino-acid repeat. Images PMID:2555685

  2. Purification and cloning of phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins from Dictyostelium discoideum: homologues of both mammalian PITPs and Saccharomyces cerevisiae sec14p are found in the same cell.

    PubMed

    Swigart, P; Insall, R; Wilkins, A; Cockcroft, S

    2000-05-01

    Soluble phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) have important roles in lipid-mediated signalling as well as in membrane traffic. Two PITPs (alpha and beta) have been cloned from mammalian cells, which are unrelated in sequence to yeast PITP (the product of the SEC14 gene). However, all three PITPs can perform interchangeably to reconstitute function in mammalian cells. We have now purified the major PITP from the cytoplasm of Dictyostelium discoideum and cloned the gene. This protein, DdPITP1, is homologous with mammalian PITPalpha and PITPbeta. We have also cloned a second gene (DdPITP2) related in sequence to DdPITP1. In addition, an independently cloned cDNA encodes a relative of the SEC14 family of yeast PITPs. DdPITP1, DdPITP2 and DdSec14 proteins were all able to mediate the transfer of PtdIns from one membrane compartment to another; they thus exhibited the hallmark of PITPs. Secondly, all three PITPs were able to rescue phospholipase C-mediated phosphoinositide hydrolysis in PITP-depleted HL60 cells, indicating that all three PITPs were capable of stimulating phosphoinositide synthesis. The identification of PITPs related to both mammalian PITPs and yeast Sec14p in a single organism will provide a unique opportunity to examine the functions of this class of protein with genetic approaches.

  3. Toxicity assessment of diesel- and metal-contaminated soils through elutriate and solid phase assays with the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ruiz, Amaia; Dondero, Francesco; Viarengo, Aldo; Marigómez, Ionan

    2016-06-01

    A suite of organisms from different taxonomical and ecological positions is needed to assess environmentally relevant soil toxicity. A new bioassay based on Dictyostelium is presented that is aimed at integrating slime molds into such a testing framework. Toxicity tests on elutriates and the solid phase developmental cycle assay were successfully applied to a soil spiked with a mixture of Zn, Cd, and diesel fuel freshly prepared (recently contaminated) and after 2 yr of aging. The elutriates of both soils provoked toxic effects, but toxicity was markedly lower in the aged soil. In the D. discoideum developmental cycle assay, both soils affected amoeba viability and aggregation, with fewer multicellular units, smaller fruiting bodies and, overall, inhibition of fruiting body formation. This assay is quick and requires small amounts of test soil, which might facilitate its incorporation into a multispecies multiple-endpoint toxicity bioassay battery suitable for environmental risk assessment in soils. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1413-1421. © 2015 SETAC. © 2015 SETAC.

  4. The Effects of Extracellular Calcium on Motility, Pseudopod and Uropod Formation, Chemotaxis and the Cortical Localization of Myosin II in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Lusche, Daniel F.; Wessels, Deborah; Soll, David R.

    2009-01-01

    Extracellular Ca++, a ubiquitous cation in the soluble environment of cells both free living and within the human body, regulates most aspects of amoeboid cell motility, including shape, uropod formation, pseudopod formation, velocity and turning in Dictyostelium discoideum. Hence it affects the efficiency of both basic motile behavior and chemotaxis. Extracellular Ca++ is optimal at 10 mM. A gradient of the chemoattractant cAMP generated in the absence of added Ca++ only affects turning, but in combination with extracellular Ca++, enhances the effects of extracellular Ca++. Potassium, at 40 mM, can substitute for Ca++. Mg++, Mn++, Zn++ and Na+ cannot. Extracellular Ca++, or K+, also induce the cortical localization of myosin II in a polar fashion. The effects of Ca++, K+ or a cAMP gradient do not appear to be similarly mediated by an increase in the general pool of free cytosolic Ca++. These results suggest a model, in which each agent functioning through different signaling systems, converge to affect the cortical localization of myosin II, which in turn effects the behavioral changes leading to efficient cell motility and chemotaxis. PMID:19363786

  5. The NMRA/NMRAL1 homologue PadA modulates the expression of extracellular cAMP relay genes during aggregation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Garciandia, Ane; Suarez, Teresa

    2013-09-15

    NMRA-like proteins belong to a class of conserved transcriptional regulators that function as direct sensors of the metabolic state of the cell and link basic metabolism to changes in gene expression. PadA was the first NMRA-like protein described in Dictyostelium discoideum and was shown to be necessary for prestalk cell differentiation and correct development. We describe and characterize padA(-) mutant phenotype during the onset of development, which results in the formation of abnormally small territories and impairment of cAMP responses. Transcriptional analysis shows that cAMP-induced gene expression is downregulated in padA(-), particularly the genes that establish the extracellular cAMP relay. The mutant phenotype can be rescued with the constitutive expression of one of these genes, carA, encoding the cAMP receptor. Transcriptional analysis of padA(-)/A15::carA showed that carA maximum mRNA levels were not reached during aggregation. Our data support a regulatory role for PadA on the regulation of extracellular cAMP relay genes during aggregation and suggest that PadA is required to achieve carA full induction.

  6. A developmentally regulated membrane protein gene in Dictyostelium discoideum is also induced by heat shock and cold shock.

    PubMed Central

    Maniak, M; Nellen, W

    1988-01-01

    We have analyzed the expression of the Dictyostelium gene P8A7 which had been isolated as a cDNA clone from an early developmentally regulated gene. The single genomic copy generated two mRNAs which were subject to different control mechanisms: while one mRNA (P8A7S) was regulated like the cell-type-nonspecific late genes, the other one (P8A7L) was induced during development, when cells were allowed to attach to a substrate, and when cells were subjected to stress, such as heat shock and cadmium. Interestingly the same induction was also observed with cold shock. RNA processing was inhibited by heat and cold shock, leading to nuclear accumulation of a precursor. The translated region of the cDNA was common to both mRNAs and encoded an unusually hydrophobic peptide with the characteristics of a membrane protein. Images PMID:3336356

  7. Properties of a non-bioactive fluorescent derivative of differentiation-inducing factor-3, an anti-tumor agent found in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Kubohara, Yuzuru; Kikuchi, Haruhisa; Matsuo, Yusuke; Oshima, Yoshiteru; Homma, Yoshimi

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Differentiation-inducing factor-3 (DIF-3), found in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, and its derivatives, such as butoxy-DIF-3 (Bu-DIF-3), are potent anti-tumor agents. To investigate the activity of DIF-like molecules in tumor cells, we recently synthesized a green fluorescent DIF-3 derivative, BODIPY-DIF-3G, and analyzed its bioactivity and cellular localization. In this study, we synthesized a red (orange) fluorescent DIF-3 derivative, BODIPY-DIF-3R, and compared the cellular localization and bioactivities of the two BODIPY-DIF-3s in HeLa human cervical cancer cells. Both fluorescent compounds penetrated the extracellular membrane within 0.5 h and localized mainly to the mitochondria. In formalin-fixed cells, the two BODIPY-DIF-3s also localized to the mitochondria, indicating that the BODIPY-DIF-3s were incorporated into mitochondria independently of the mitochondrial membrane potential. After treatment for 3 days, BODIPY-DIF-3G, but not BODIPY-DIF-3R, induced mitochondrial swelling and suppressed cell proliferation. Interestingly, the swollen mitochondria were stainable with BODIPY-DIF-3G but not with BODIPY-DIF-3R. When added to isolated mitochondria in vitro, BODIPY-DIF-3G increased dose-dependently the rate of O2 consumption, but BODIPY-DIF-3R did not. These results suggest that the bioactive BODIPY-DIF-3G suppresses cell proliferation, at least in part, by altering mitochondrial activity, whereas the non-bioactive BODIPY-DIF-3R localizes to the mitochondria but does not affect mitochondrial activity or cell proliferation. PMID:24682009

  8. Alterations of nuclear DNA synthesis after irradiation of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum: studies performed in a mutant strain displaying enhanced thymidine uptake

    SciTech Connect

    Hurley, D.L.

    1986-01-01

    The auxotrophic Dictyostelium discoideum strain HPS 401 was studied. Thymidine at 8 ..mu..g/ml or thymidylate at 50 ..mu..g/ml supported growth to maximal cell densities. Thin layer chromatography of cell extracts showed rapid intracellular accumulation of thymidine in HPS 401 vs slightly detectable accumulation in wild-type cells. Measurements showed that methionine and thymidylate were taken into all strains at a low rate, but HPS 401 had enhanced uptake of thymidine and uridine compared to wild-type. The HPS 401 phenotype is due to the efficient utilization of thymidine as a result of increased nucleoside uptake. Rapid nuclear purification removed mitochondrial DNA without decreasing the single-strand molecular weight of the nuclear DNA. The nuclear DNA peaks on alkaline sucrose gradients were identified using filter hybridization to cloned probes. As measured by pulse-chase labelling, production of full-sized main band DNA required 45-50 minutes. Pulse labelling of the cells immediately after ultraviolet irradiation caused the single-strand molecular weight of the DNA synthesized to decrease from 8 x 10/sup 6/ daltons at O J/m/sup 2/ to 3.9 x 10/sup 6/ daltons at 50 J/m/sup 2/ to 2.6 x 10/sup 6/ daltons at 200 J/m/sup 2/. The time required for maturation into full-sized DNA increased from 1 hour at O J/m/sup 2/ to 4 hours at 20 J/m/sup 2/ and to 21 hours at 200 J/m/sup 2/. Measured amounts of DNA synthesis at times after ultraviolet irradiation showed a period of reduced incorporation, followed by the resumption of control levels. The lag period ended at the same time as the production of full-sized DNA resumed.

  9. TgrC1 mediates cell-cell adhesion by interacting with TgrB1 via mutual IPT/TIG domains during development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Chen, Gong; Wang, Jun; Xu, Xiaoqun; Wu, Xiangfu; Piao, Ruihan; Siu, Chi-Hung

    2013-06-01

    Cell-cell adhesion plays crucial roles in cell differentiation and morphogenesis during development of Dictyostelium discoideum. The heterophilic adhesion protein TgrC1 (Tgr is transmembrane, IPT, IG, E-set, repeat protein) is expressed during cell aggregation, and disruption of the tgrC1 gene results in the arrest of development at the loose aggregate stage. We have used far-Western blotting coupled with MS to identify TgrB1 as the heterophilic binding partner of TgrC1. Co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down studies showed that TgrB1 and TgrC1 are capable of binding with each other in solution. TgrB1 and TgrC1 are encoded by a pair of adjacent genes which share a common promoter. Both TgrB1 and TgrC1 are type I transmembrane proteins, which contain three extracellular IPT/TIG (immunoglobulin, plexin, transcription factor-like/transcription factor immunoglobulin) domains. Antibodies raised against TgrB1 inhibit cell reassociation at the post-aggregation stage of development and block fruiting body formation. Ectopic expression of TgrB1 and TgrC1 driven by the actin15 promoter leads to heterotypic cell aggregation of vegetative cells. Using recombinant proteins that cover different portions of TgrB1 and TgrC1 in binding assays, we have mapped the cell-binding regions in these two proteins to Lys(537)-Ala(783) in TgrB1 and Ile(336)-Val(360) in TgrC1, corresponding to their respective TIG3 and TIG2 domain.

  10. AmpA protein functions by different mechanisms to influence early cell type specification and to modulate cell adhesion and actin polymerization in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Cost, Hoa N; Noratel, Elizabeth F; Blumberg, Daphne D

    2013-01-01

    The Dictyostelium discoideum ampA gene encodes a multifunctional regulator protein that modulates cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesions and actin polymerization during growth and is necessary for correct cell type specification and patterning during development. Insertional inactivation of the ampA gene results in defects that define two distinct roles for the ampA gene during development. AmpA is necessary in a non-cell autonomous manner to prevent premature expression of a prespore gene marker. It is also necessary in a cell autonomous manner for the anterior like cells, which express the ampA gene, to migrate to the upper cup during culmination. It is also necessary to prevent excessive cell-cell agglutination when cells are developed in a submerged suspension culture. Here, we demonstrate that a supernatant source of AmpA protein, added extracellularly, can prevent the premature mis-expression of the prespore marker. Synthetic oligopeptides are used to identify the domain of the AmpA protein that is important for preventing cells from mis-expressing the prespore gene. We further demonstrate that a factor capable of inducing additional cells to express the prespore gene marker accumulates extracellularly in the absence of AmpA protein. While the secreted AmpA acts extracellularly to suppress prespore gene expression, the effects of AmpA on cell agglutination and on actin polymerization in growing cells are not due to an extracellular role of secreted AmpA protein. Rather, these effects appear to reflect a distinct cell autonomous role of the ampA gene. Finally, we show that secretion of AmpA protein is brought about by elevating the levels of expression of ampA so that the protein accumulates to an excessive level.

  11. Structure of the Small Dictyostelium discoideum Myosin Light Chain MlcB Provides Insights into MyoB IQ Motif Recognition*

    PubMed Central

    Liburd, Janine; Chitayat, Seth; Crawley, Scott W.; Munro, Kim; Miller, Emily; Denis, Chris M.; Spencer, Holly L.; Côté, Graham P.; Smith, Steven P.

    2014-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum MyoB is a class I myosin involved in the formation and retraction of membrane projections, cortical tension generation, membrane recycling, and phagosome maturation. The MyoB-specific, single-lobe EF-hand light chain MlcB binds the sole IQ motif of MyoB with submicromolar affinity in the absence and presence of Ca2+. However, the structural features of this novel myosin light chain and its interaction with its cognate IQ motif remain uncharacterized. Here, we describe the NMR-derived solution structure of apoMlcB, which displays a globular four-helix bundle. Helix 1 adopts a unique orientation when compared with the apo states of the EF-hand calcium-binding proteins calmodulin, S100B, and calbindin D9k. NMR-based chemical shift perturbation mapping identified a hydrophobic MyoB IQ binding surface that involves amino acid residues in helices I and IV and the functional N-terminal Ca2+ binding loop, a site that appears to be maintained when MlcB adopts the holo state. Complementary mutagenesis and binding studies indicated that residues Ile-701, Phe-705, and Trp-708 of the MyoB IQ motif are critical for recognition of MlcB, which together allowed the generation of a structural model of the apoMlcB-MyoB IQ complex. We conclude that the mode of IQ motif recognition by the novel single-lobe MlcB differs considerably from that of stereotypical bilobal light chains such as calmodulin. PMID:24790102

  12. Cell type specificity and mechanism of control of a gene may be reverted in different strains of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G; Giorda, R

    2000-06-21

    Twelve genes which are expressed exclusively in pre-spore cells of Dictyostelium strain AX3 are expressed exclusively in pre-stalk cells of strain AX2. One gene has the opposite behavior: it is expressed in pre-stalk cells in AX3 and in pre-spore cells in AX2. The change in cell type specificity involves a change in the mechanism of control of gene expression. When they are expressed in pre-stalk cells, genes are controlled at the level of transcription, whilst in pre-spore cells, they are controlled at the level of mRNA stability. Genes expressed in pre-stalk cells in strain AX2, fused with an AX2 pre-spore specific promoter, become regulated at the level of mRNA stability. These findings indicate that at least a group of pre-stalk mRNAs possess the cis-destabilizing element typical of pre-spore mRNAs, though they are not destabilized in disaggregated cells. This is due to the fact that ribosomal protein S6, phosphorylation of which is responsible for controlling the stability of pre-spore mRNAs, is not dephosphorylated in disaggregated pre-stalk cells. These cells lack an S6 phosphatase activity which has been purified from disaggregated pre-spore cells.

  13. The cell adhesion molecule DdCAD-1 regulates morphogenesis through differential spatiotemporal expression in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Sriskanthadevan, Shrivani; Zhu, Yingyue; Manoharan, Kumararaaj; Yang, Chunxia; Siu, Chi-Hung

    2011-06-01

    During development of Dictyostelium, multiple cell types are formed and undergo a coordinated series of morphogenetic movements guided by their adhesive properties and other cellular factors. DdCAD-1 is a unique homophilic cell adhesion molecule encoded by the cadA gene. It is synthesized in the cytoplasm and transported to the plasma membrane by contractile vacuoles. In chimeras developed on soil plates, DdCAD-1-expressing cells showed greater propensity to develop into spores than did cadA-null cells. When development was performed on non-nutrient agar, wild-type cells sorted from the cadA-null cells and moved to the anterior zone. They differentiated mostly into stalk cells and eventually died, whereas the cadA-null cells survived as spores. To assess the role of DdCAD-1 in this novel behavior of wild-type and mutant cells, cadA-null cells were rescued by the ectopic expression of DdCAD-1-GFP. Morphological studies have revealed major spatiotemporal changes in the subcellular distribution of DdCAD-1 during development. Whereas DdCAD-1 became internalized in most cells in the post-aggregation stages, it was prominent in the contact regions of anterior cells. Cell sorting was also restored in cadA(-) slugs by exogenous recombinant DdCAD-1. Remarkably, DdCAD-1 remained on the surface of anterior cells, whereas it was internalized in the posterior cells. Additionally, DdCAD-1-expressing cells migrated slower than cadA(-) cells and sorted to the anterior region of chimeric slugs. These results show that DdCAD-1 influences the sorting behavior of cells in slugs by its differential distribution on the prestalk and prespore cells.

  14. A Model for Direction Sensing in Dictyostelium discoideum: Ras Activity and Symmetry Breaking Driven by a Gβγ-Mediated, Gα2-Ric8 -- Dependent Signal Transduction Network.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yougan; Othmer, Hans

    2016-05-01

    Chemotaxis is a dynamic cellular process, comprised of direction sensing, polarization and locomotion, that leads to the directed movement of eukaryotic cells along extracellular gradients. As a primary step in the response of an individual cell to a spatial stimulus, direction sensing has attracted numerous theoretical treatments aimed at explaining experimental observations in a variety of cell types. Here we propose a new model of direction sensing based on experiments using Dictyostelium discoideum (Dicty). The model is built around a reaction-diffusion-translocation system that involves three main component processes: a signal detection step based on G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) for cyclic AMP (cAMP), a transduction step based on a heterotrimetic G protein Gα2βγ, and an activation step of a monomeric G-protein Ras. The model can predict the experimentally-observed response of cells treated with latrunculin A, which removes feedback from downstream processes, under a variety of stimulus protocols. We show that [Formula: see text] cycling modulated by Ric8, a nonreceptor guanine exchange factor for [Formula: see text] in Dicty, drives multiple phases of Ras activation and leads to direction sensing and signal amplification in cAMP gradients. The model predicts that both [Formula: see text] and Gβγ are essential for direction sensing, in that membrane-localized [Formula: see text], the activated GTP-bearing form of [Formula: see text], leads to asymmetrical recruitment of RasGEF and Ric8, while globally-diffusing Gβγ mediates their activation. We show that the predicted response at the level of Ras activation encodes sufficient 'memory' to eliminate the 'back-of-the wave' problem, and the effects of diffusion and cell shape on direction sensing are also investigated. In contrast with existing LEGI models of chemotaxis, the results do not require a disparity between the diffusion coefficients of the Ras activator GEF and the Ras inhibitor GAP. Since

  15. A Model for Direction Sensing in Dictyostelium discoideum: Ras Activity and Symmetry Breaking Driven by a Gβγ-Mediated, Gα2-Ric8 -- Dependent Signal Transduction Network

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yougan; Othmer, Hans

    2016-01-01

    Chemotaxis is a dynamic cellular process, comprised of direction sensing, polarization and locomotion, that leads to the directed movement of eukaryotic cells along extracellular gradients. As a primary step in the response of an individual cell to a spatial stimulus, direction sensing has attracted numerous theoretical treatments aimed at explaining experimental observations in a variety of cell types. Here we propose a new model of direction sensing based on experiments using Dictyostelium discoideum (Dicty). The model is built around a reaction-diffusion-translocation system that involves three main component processes: a signal detection step based on G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) for cyclic AMP (cAMP), a transduction step based on a heterotrimetic G protein Gα2βγ, and an activation step of a monomeric G-protein Ras. The model can predict the experimentally-observed response of cells treated with latrunculin A, which removes feedback from downstream processes, under a variety of stimulus protocols. We show that Gα2βγ cycling modulated by Ric8, a nonreceptor guanine exchange factor for Gα2 in Dicty, drives multiple phases of Ras activation and leads to direction sensing and signal amplification in cAMP gradients. The model predicts that both Gα2 and Gβγ are essential for direction sensing, in that membrane-localized Gα2*, the activated GTP-bearing form of Gα2, leads to asymmetrical recruitment of RasGEF and Ric8, while globally-diffusing Gβγ mediates their activation. We show that the predicted response at the level of Ras activation encodes sufficient ‘memory’ to eliminate the ‘back-of-the wave’ problem, and the effects of diffusion and cell shape on direction sensing are also investigated. In contrast with existing LEGI models of chemotaxis, the results do not require a disparity between the diffusion coefficients of the Ras activator GEF and the Ras inhibitor GAP. Since the signal pathways we study are highly conserved between Dicty

  16. The Dictyostelium discoideum RNA-dependent RNA polymerase RrpC silences the centromeric retrotransposon DIRS-1 post-transcriptionally and is required for the spreading of RNA silencing signals

    PubMed Central

    Wiegand, Stephan; Meier, Doreen; Seehafer, Carsten; Malicki, Marek; Hofmann, Patrick; Schmith, Anika; Winckler, Thomas; Földesi, Balint; Boesler, Benjamin; Nellen, Wolfgang; Reimegård, Johan; Käller, Max; Hällman, Jimmie; Emanuelsson, Olof; Avesson, Lotta; Söderbom, Fredrik; Hammann, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Dictyostelium intermediate repeat sequence 1 (DIRS-1) is the founding member of a poorly characterized class of retrotransposable elements that contain inverse long terminal repeats and tyrosine recombinase instead of DDE-type integrase enzymes. In Dictyostelium discoideum, DIRS-1 forms clusters that adopt the function of centromeres, rendering tight retrotransposition control critical to maintaining chromosome integrity. We report that in deletion strains of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase RrpC, full-length and shorter DIRS-1 messenger RNAs are strongly enriched. Shorter versions of a hitherto unknown long non-coding RNA in DIRS-1 antisense orientation are also enriched in rrpC– strains. Concurrent with the accumulation of long transcripts, the vast majority of small (21 mer) DIRS-1 RNAs vanish in rrpC– strains. RNASeq reveals an asymmetric distribution of the DIRS-1 small RNAs, both along DIRS-1 and with respect to sense and antisense orientation. We show that RrpC is required for post-transcriptional DIRS-1 silencing and also for spreading of RNA silencing signals. Finally, DIRS-1 mis-regulation in the absence of RrpC leads to retrotransposon mobilization. In summary, our data reveal RrpC as a key player in the silencing of centromeric retrotransposon DIRS-1. RrpC acts at the post-transcriptional level and is involved in spreading of RNA silencing signals, both in the 5′ and 3′ directions. PMID:24369430

  17. Analysis of chemotaxis in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Huaqing; Huang, Chuan-Hsiang; Devreotes, Peter N.; Iijima, Miho

    2012-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum is an excellent model organism for the study of directed cell migration since Dictyostelium cells show robust chemotactic responses to the chemoattractant cAMP. Many powerful experimental tools are applicable, including forward and reverse genetics, biochemistry, microscopy, and proteomics. Recent studies have demonstrated that many components involved in chemotaxis are functionally conserved between human neutrophils and Dictyostelium amoebae. In this section, we will describe how to define the functions of proteins that mediate and regulate cell motility, cell polarity, and directional sensing during chemotaxis in Dictyostelium. PMID:21909927

  18. Control of 6-(D-threo-1',2'-dihydroxypropyl) pterin (dictyopterin) synthesis during aggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum. Involvement of the G-protein-linked signalling pathway in the regulation of GTP cyclohydrolase I activity.

    PubMed

    Gütlich, M; Witter, K; Bourdais, J; Veron, M; Rödl, W; Ziegler, I

    1996-02-15

    6-(D-threo-1',2'-Dihydroxypropylpterin (dictyopterin) has been identified in extracts of growing Dictyostelium dicoideum cells [Klein, Thiery and Tatischeff (1990) Eur. J. Biochem. 187, 665-669]. We demonstrate that it originates from GTP by de novo biosynthesis and that the first committed step is catalysed by GTP cyclohydrolase I, yielding dihydroneopterin triphosphate [neopterin is 6-(D-erythro-1',2',3'-trihydroxypropyl) pterin]. The GTP cyclohydrolase I activity is found in the cytosolic fraction and in a membrane-associated form. The level of a 0.9 kb mRNA coding for GTP cyclohydrolase I decreases to about 10% of its initial value within 2 h after Dictyostelium cells start development induced by starvation. In the cytosolic fraction, the specific activities of GTP cyclohydrolase I, as well as the concentrations of (6R/S)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrodictyopterin (H4dictyopterin), follow this decline of the mRNA level. In the particulate fraction, however, the specific activities of GTP cyclohydrolase I and, in consequence, H4dictyopterin synthesis, transiently increase and reach a maximum after 4-5 h of development. The time-course of H4dictyopterin concentrations in the starvation medium closely correlates with its production in the membrane fraction. The activity of membrane-associated GTP cyclohydrolase I can be increased by pre-incubation of the cell lysate with guanosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate and Mg2+. This GTP analogue does not serve as a substrate and has no direct effect on the enzyme activity, indicating that a G-protein-linked signalling pathway is involved in the regulation of GTP cyclohydrolase I activity and thus in H4dictyopterin production during early development of D. discoideum.

  19. Control of 6-(D-threo-1',2'-dihydroxypropyl) pterin (dictyopterin) synthesis during aggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum. Involvement of the G-protein-linked signalling pathway in the regulation of GTP cyclohydrolase I activity.

    PubMed Central

    Gütlich, M; Witter, K; Bourdais, J; Veron, M; Rödl, W; Ziegler, I

    1996-01-01

    6-(D-threo-1',2'-Dihydroxypropylpterin (dictyopterin) has been identified in extracts of growing Dictyostelium dicoideum cells [Klein, Thiery and Tatischeff (1990) Eur. J. Biochem. 187, 665-669]. We demonstrate that it originates from GTP by de novo biosynthesis and that the first committed step is catalysed by GTP cyclohydrolase I, yielding dihydroneopterin triphosphate [neopterin is 6-(D-erythro-1',2',3'-trihydroxypropyl) pterin]. The GTP cyclohydrolase I activity is found in the cytosolic fraction and in a membrane-associated form. The level of a 0.9 kb mRNA coding for GTP cyclohydrolase I decreases to about 10% of its initial value within 2 h after Dictyostelium cells start development induced by starvation. In the cytosolic fraction, the specific activities of GTP cyclohydrolase I, as well as the concentrations of (6R/S)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrodictyopterin (H4dictyopterin), follow this decline of the mRNA level. In the particulate fraction, however, the specific activities of GTP cyclohydrolase I and, in consequence, H4dictyopterin synthesis, transiently increase and reach a maximum after 4-5 h of development. The time-course of H4dictyopterin concentrations in the starvation medium closely correlates with its production in the membrane fraction. The activity of membrane-associated GTP cyclohydrolase I can be increased by pre-incubation of the cell lysate with guanosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate and Mg2+. This GTP analogue does not serve as a substrate and has no direct effect on the enzyme activity, indicating that a G-protein-linked signalling pathway is involved in the regulation of GTP cyclohydrolase I activity and thus in H4dictyopterin production during early development of D. discoideum. PMID:8660315

  20. Determinants of mRNA stability in Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae: differences in poly(A) tail length, ribosome loading, and mRNA size cannot account for the heterogeneity of mRNA decay rates.

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, R A; Herrick, D; Manrow, R E; Blinder, D; Jacobson, A

    1988-01-01

    As an approach to understanding the structures and mechanisms which determine mRNA decay rates, we have cloned and begun to characterize cDNAs which encode mRNAs representative of the stability extremes in the poly(A)+ RNA population of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae. The cDNA clones were identified in a screening procedure which was based on the occurrence of poly(A) shortening during mRNA aging. mRNA half-lives were determined by hybridization of poly(A)+ RNA, isolated from cells labeled in a 32PO4 pulse-chase, to dots of excess cloned DNA. Individual mRNAs decayed with unique first-order decay rates ranging from 0.9 to 9.6 h, indicating that the complex decay kinetics of total poly(A)+ RNA in D. discoideum amoebae reflect the sum of the decay rates of individual mRNAs. Using specific probes derived from these cDNA clones, we have compared the sizes, extents of ribosome loading, and poly(A) tail lengths of stable, moderately stable, and unstable mRNAs. We found (i) no correlation between mRNA size and decay rate; (ii) no significant difference in the number of ribosomes per unit length of stable versus unstable mRNAs, and (iii) a general inverse relationship between mRNA decay rates and poly(A) tail lengths. Collectively, these observations indicate that mRNA decay in D. discoideum amoebae cannot be explained in terms of random nucleolytic events. The possibility that specific 3'-structural determinants can confer mRNA instability is suggested by a comparison of the labeling and turnover kinetics of different actin mRNAs. A correlation was observed between the steady-state percentage of a given mRNA found in polysomes and its degree of instability; i.e., unstable mRNAs were more efficiently recruited into polysomes than stable mRNAs. Since stable mRNAs are, on average, "older" than unstable mRNAs, this correlation may reflect a translational role for mRNA modifications that change in a time-dependent manner. Our previous studies have demonstrated both a time

  1. The lysine-rich H1 histones from the slime moulds, Physarum polycephalum and Dictyostelium discoideum lack phosphorylation sites recognised by cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase in vitro.

    PubMed

    Heads, R J; Carpenter, B G; Rickenberg, H V; Chambers, T C

    1992-07-13

    Calcium chloride-extracted histones were prepared from nuclei of the slime moulds, Physarum polycephalum and Dictyostelium discoideum, and phosphorylation by purified preparations of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (cAMP-d PK) and growth-associated H1 histone kinase (HKG) examined and compared. Among the major histone fractions and other proteins in the two preparations, the H1 histones from both organisms were found to be effective and exclusive substrates for HKG. cAMP-d PK, which phosphorylates mammalian H1 histone and certain, in particular H2B, of the mammalian core histones, phosphorylated several of the core histones from both slime moulds but did not phosphorylate H1 histone from either. The slime mould H1s remained ineffective substrates for cAMP-d PK even after extensive alkaline phosphatase treatment of the histone preparations. Additional studies demonstrated that the lack of slime mould H1 phosphorylation by cAMP-d PK was not due to competition of the H1 molecules with the core histones for the kinase. Our studies suggest that H1 histones from these organisms, whilst clearly containing sites for phosphorylation by HKG, apparently lack phosphorylation sites recognised by cAMP-d PK. Thus, the mediation of specific nuclear functions by cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of H1 in higher organisms may not occur or be required in these lower eukaryotes.

  2. Amebae of Dictyostelium discoideum respond to an increasing temporal gradient of the chemoattractant cAMP with a reduced frequency of turning: evidence for a temporal mechanism in ameboid chemotaxis.

    PubMed

    Varnum-Finney, B; Edwards, K B; Voss, E; Soll, D R

    1987-01-01

    In an aggregation territory of Dictyostelium discoideum, outwardly moving, nondissipating waves of the chemoattractant cAMP sweep across each ameba. At the front of each wave, an ameba experiences an increasing temporal and a positive spatial gradient of cAMP. At the back of a wave, an ameba experiences a decreasing temporal and a negative spatial gradient of cAMP. Employing a perfusion chamber, we have mimicked the temporal dynamics of these waves in the absence of a spatial gradient and demonstrated that the frequency of lateral pseudopod formation and the frequency of turning are dramatically affected by the direction and dynamics of the temporal gradient. In addition, since an ameba will move in a directed fashion up a shallow, nonpulsatile gradient of cAMP, we also mimicked the increasing temporal gradient generated by an ameba moving up a shallow spatial gradient. The frequency of lateral pseudopod formation and the frequency of turning were depressed. Together, these results demonstrate that amebae can assess the direction of a temporal gradient of chemoattractant in the absence of a spatial gradient and alter both the frequency of pseudopod extension and turning, accordingly. Although these results do not rule out the involvement of a spatial mechanism in assessing a spatial gradient, they strongly suggest that the temporal dynamics of a cAMP wave or the temporal gradient generated by an ameba moving through a spatial gradient may play a major role in chemotaxis.

  3. Fucosebeta-1-P-Ser is a new type of glycosylation: using antibodies to identify a novel structure in Dictyostelium discoideum and study multiple types of fucosylation during growth and development.

    PubMed

    Srikrishna, G; Wang, L; Freeze, H H

    1998-08-01

    Three antibodies that recognize distinct fucose epitopes were used to study fucosylation during growth and development of Dictyostelium discoideum. mAb83.5 is known to recognize an undefined "fucose epitope" on several proteins with serine-rich domains, while mAb CAB4, and a component of anti-horse-radish peroxidase, specifically recognize Fucalpha1,6GlcNAc and Fucalpha1,3GlcNAc residues respectively in the core of N-linked oligosaccharides. We show that mAb 83.5 defines a new type of O-glycosylation. Serine-containing peptides incubated with GDPbeta[3H]Fuc and microsomes formed two fucosylated products. A neutral product accounting for 30% of the label did not react with the antibody, while the rest of the label was incorporated into a charged product which contained all the mAb83.5 reactive material. beta-Elimination of the labeled peptide or endogenous products produced [3H]Fuc-1-P, indicating phosphodiester linkage to serine. Fucbeta-1-P and GDP-betaFuc at 100 microM blocked mAb83.5 binding to endogenous and peptide products, but their alpha-linked anomers did not. Electrospray ionization mass spectra of the neutral and anionic labeled products showed major peaks of mass units corresponding to O-Fuc-Ser peptide and O-Fuc-phospho-Ser peptide, respectively. The activity of Fuc-phosphotransferase exactly paralleled the accumulation of reactive glycans during growth and development. The expressions of N-glycan core Fucalpha1,6GlcNAc and Fucalpha1,3GlcNAc and their respective fucosyl transferase activities were also synchronous, but their developmental regulation differed from one another. Fucalpha1, 6GlcNAc was expressed maximally during growth but declined during development. In contrast core Fucalpha1,3GlcNAc epitopes were expressed almost exclusively during development. These findings provide direct evidence for a novel type of O-phosphofucosylation, demonstrate the existence of an O-fucosyl transferase, and identify two different types of core fucosylation in

  4. Ectopic expression of cyclase associated protein CAP restores the streaming and aggregation defects of adenylyl cyclase a deficient Dictyostelium discoideum cells

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Cell adhesion, an integral part of D. discoideum development, is important for morphogenesis and regulated gene expression in the multicellular context and is required to trigger cell-differentiation. G-protein linked adenylyl cyclase pathways are crucially involved and a mutant lacking the aggregation specific adenylyl cyclase ACA does not undergo multicellular development. Results Here, we have investigated the role of cyclase-associated protein (CAP), an important regulator of cell polarity and F-actin/G-actin ratio in the aca- mutant. We show that ectopic expression of GFP-CAP improves cell polarization, streaming and aggregation in aca- cells, but it fails to completely restore development. Our studies indicate a requirement of CAP in the ACA dependent signal transduction for progression of the development of unicellular amoebae into multicellular structures. The reduced expression of the cell adhesion molecule DdCAD1 together with csA is responsible for the defects in aca- cells to initiate multicellular development. Early development was restored by the expression of GFP-CAP that enhanced the DdCAD1 transcript levels and to a lesser extent the csA mRNA levels. Conclusions Collectively, our data shows a novel role of CAP in regulating cell adhesion mechanisms during development that might be envisioned to unravel the functions of mammalian CAP during animal embryogenesis. PMID:22239817

  5. A shared internal threonine-glutamic acid-threonine-proline repeat defines a family of Dictyostelium discoideum spore germination specific proteins.

    PubMed

    Giorda, R; Ohmachi, T; Shaw, D R; Ennis, H L

    1990-08-07

    A cDNA denoted pRK270 hybridizes to two mRNA species in RNA blots. The mRNAs specific to this clone are not expressed during vegetative growth and multicellular development. They are, however, found predominantly during early stages of spore germination, suggesting that their synthesis is rapidly and coordinately turned on during germination. Two different cDNAs named 270-6 and 270-11 were isolated, representing the two mRNAs. DNA blot analysis shows that 270 is a multigene family. Four genes were isolated from Dictyostelium genomic libraries and sequenced. The putative proteins coded for by these genes are about 51,000, 55,000, 76,000, and 100,000 Da. Two of the genes are expressed during spore germination while transcripts for the other two are not present during spore germination, vegetative growth, or the stages of multicellular development studied. The cDNAs and genes code for deduced proteins that possess a very unusual internal amino acid repeat comprised of the tetrapeptide threonine-glutamic acid-threonine-proline. The other portions of the proteins have no homology among themselves. The 270-6 protein shows excellent identity with avocado (Persea americana) cellulase, indicating that it may function as an endo-(1,4)-beta-D-glucanase.

  6. Ligand-induced changes in the location of actin, myosin, 95K (alpha- actinin), and 120K protein in amebae of Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    1985-01-01

    In this study we investigated concanavalin A (Con A) induced changes in the locations of actin, myosin, 120K, and 95K (alpha-actinin) to determine the extent to which actin and myosin are reorganized during capping and the roles that 120K and 95K might play in this reorganization. We observed the location of each protein by indirect immunofluorescence using affinity purified antibodies. Four morphological states were distinguished in vegetative Dictyostelium amebae: ameboid cells before Con A binding, patched cells, capped cells, and ameboid cells with caps. The location of each protein was distinct in ameboid cells both before and after capping Actin and 120K were found in the cell cortex usually associated with surface projections, and myosin and 95K were diffusely distributed. Myosin was excluded from surface projections in ameboid cells. During patching, all four proteins were localized below Con A patches. During capping, actin, myosin, and 95K protein moved with the Con A patches into the cap whereas 120K protein was excluded from the cap. During the late stages of cap formation actin and myosin were progressively lost from the cap, and 120K became concentrated in new actin-filled projections that formed away from the cap. However, 95K remained tightly associated with the cap. Poisoning cells with sodium azide inhibited capping but not patching of ligand. In azide-poisoned cells, myosin and 95K did not co-patch with Con A, whereas copatching of 120K and actin with Con A occurred as usual. Our results support the hypothesis that capping is an actomyosin-mediated motile event that involves a sliding interaction between actin filaments, which are anchored through the membrane to ligand patches, and myosin in the cortex. They are also consistent with a role for 120K in the formation of surface projections by promoting growth and/or cross-linking of actin filaments within projections, and with a role for 95K in regulating actomyosin-mediated contractility, earlier

  7. Evaluation of the mechanisms of intron loss and gain in the social amoebae Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ming-Yue; Che, Xun-Ru; Porceddu, Andrea; Niu, Deng-Ke

    2015-12-18

    Spliceosomal introns are a common feature of eukaryotic genomes. To approach a comprehensive understanding of intron evolution on Earth, studies should look beyond repeatedly studied groups such as animals, plants, and fungi. The slime mold Dictyostelium belongs to a supergroup of eukaryotes not covered in previous studies. We found 441 precise intron losses in Dictyostelium discoideum and 202 precise intron losses in Dictyostelium purpureum. Consistent with these observations, Dictyostelium discoideum was found to have significantly more copies of reverse transcriptase genes than Dictyostelium purpureum. We also found that the lost introns are significantly further from the 5' end of genes than the conserved introns. Adjacent introns were prone to be lost simultaneously in Dictyostelium discoideum. In both Dictyostelium species, the exonic sequences flanking lost introns were found to have a significantly higher GC content than those flanking conserved introns. Together, these observations support a reverse-transcription model of intron loss in which intron losses were caused by gene conversion between genomic DNA and cDNA reverse transcribed from mature mRNA. We also identified two imprecise intron losses in Dictyostelium discoideum that may have resulted from genomic deletions. Ninety-eight putative intron gains were also observed. Consistent with previous studies of other lineages, the source sequences were found in only a small number of cases, with only two instances of intron gain identified in Dictyostelium discoideum. Although they diverged very early from animals and fungi, Dictyostelium species have similar mechanisms of intron loss.

  8. Dictyostelium cell death

    PubMed Central

    Levraud, Jean-Pierre; Adam, Myriam; Luciani, Marie-Françoise; de Chastellier, Chantal; Blanton, Richard L.; Golstein, Pierre

    2003-01-01

    Cell death in the stalk of Dictyostelium discoideum, a prototypic vacuolar cell death, can be studied in vitro using cells differentiating as a monolayer. To identify early events, we examined potentially dying cells at a time when the classical signs of Dictyostelium cell death, such as heavy vacuolization and membrane lesions, were not yet apparent. We observed that most cells proceeded through a stereotyped series of differentiation stages, including the emergence of “paddle” cells showing high motility and strikingly marked subcellular compartmentalization with actin segregation. Paddle cell emergence and subsequent demise with paddle-to-round cell transition may be critical to the cell death process, as they were contemporary with irreversibility assessed through time-lapse videos and clonogenicity tests. Paddle cell demise was not related to formation of the cellulose shell because cells where the cellulose-synthase gene had been inactivated underwent death indistinguishable from that of parental cells. A major subcellular alteration at the paddle-to-round cell transition was the disappearance of F-actin. The Dictyostelium vacuolar cell death pathway thus does not require cellulose synthesis and includes early actin rearrangements (F-actin segregation, then depolymerization), contemporary with irreversibility, corresponding to the emergence and demise of highly polarized paddle cells. PMID:12654899

  9. Genetic control of morphogenesis in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Loomis, William F

    2015-06-15

    Cells grow, move, expand, shrink and die in the process of generating the characteristic shapes of organisms. Although the structures generated during development of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum look nothing like the structures seen in metazoan embryogenesis, some of the morphogenetic processes used in their making are surprisingly similar. Recent advances in understanding the molecular basis for directed cell migration, cell type specific sorting, differential adhesion, secretion of matrix components, pattern formation, regulation and terminal differentiation are reviewed. Genes involved in Dictyostelium aggregation, slug formation, and culmination of fruiting bodies are discussed.

  10. Genetic control of morphogenesis in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Loomis, William F.

    2015-01-01

    Cells grow, move, expand, shrink and die in the process of generating the characteristic shapes of organisms. Although the structures generated during development of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum look nothing like the structures seen in metazoan embryogenesis, some of the morphogenetic processes used in their making are surprisingly similar. Recent advances in understanding the molecular basis for directed cell migration, cell type specific sorting, differential adhesion, secretion of matrix components, pattern formation, regulation and terminal differentiation are reviewed. Genes involved in Dictyostelium aggregation, slug formation, and culmination of fruiting bodies are discussed. PMID:25872182

  11. Chemotactic Blebbing in Dictyostelium Cells.

    PubMed

    Zatulovskiy, Evgeny; Kay, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    Many researchers use the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum as a model organism to study various aspects of the eukaryotic cell chemotaxis. Traditionally, Dictyostelium chemotaxis is considered to be driven mainly by branched F-actin polymerization. However, recently it has become evident that Dictyostelium, as well as many other eukaryotic cells, can also employ intracellular hydrostatic pressure to generate force for migration. This process results in the projection of hemispherical plasma membrane protrusions, called blebs, that can be controlled by chemotactic signaling.Here we describe two methods to study chemotactic blebbing in Dictyostelium cells and to analyze the intensity of the blebbing response in various strains and under different conditions. The first of these methods-the cyclic-AMP shock assay-allows one to quantify the global blebbing response of cells to a uniform chemoattractant stimulation. The second one-the under-agarose migration assay-induces directional blebbing in cells moving in a gradient of chemoattractant. In this assay, the cells can be switched from a predominantly F-actin-driven mode of motility to a bleb-driven chemotaxis, allowing one to compare the efficiency of both modes and explore the molecular machinery controlling chemotactic blebbing.

  12. Biogenesis of lysosomal enzymes in the alpha-glucosidase II-deficient modA mutant of Dictyostelium discoideum: retention of alpha-1,3-linked glucose on N-linked oligosaccharides delays intracellular transport but does not alter sorting of alpha-mannosidase or beta-glucosidase.

    PubMed

    Ebert, D L; Bush, J M; Dimond, R L; Cardelli, J A

    1989-09-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum-localized enzyme alpha-glucosidase II is responsible for removing the two alpha-1,3-linked glucose residues from N-linked oligosaccharides of glycoproteins. This activity is missing in the modA mutant strain, M31, of Dictyostelium discoideum. Results from both radiolabeled pulse-chase and subcellular fractionation experiments indicate that this deficiency did not prevent intracellular transport and proteolytic processing of the lysosomal enzymes, alpha-mannosidase and beta-glucosidase. However, the rate at which the glucosylated precursors left the rough endoplasmic reticulum was several-fold slower than the rate at which the wild-type precursors left this compartment. Retention of glucose residues did not disrupt the binding of the precursor forms of the enzymes with intracellular membranes, indicating that the delay in movement of proteins from the ER did not result from lack of association with membranes. However, the mutant alpha-mannosidase precursor contained more trypsin-sensitive sites than did the wild-type precursor, suggesting that improper folding of precursor molecules might account for the slow rate of transport to the Golgi complex. Percoll density gradient fractionation of extracts prepared from M31 cells indicated that the proteolytically processed mature forms of alpha-mannosidase and beta-glucosidase were localized to lysosomes. Finally, the mutation in M31 may have other, more dramatic, effects on the lysosomal system since two enzymes, N-acetylglucosaminidase and acid phosphatase, were secreted much less efficiently from lysosomal compartments by the mutant strain.

  13. Extracellular chemical signal controlling phototactic behavior by D. discoideum slugs

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, P.R.; Smith, E.; Williams, K.L.

    1981-03-01

    Developing cells of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum release a low molecular weight metabolite (Slug Turning Factor, STF) which, at high uniform concentrations, interferes with phototaxis and thermotaxis by D. discoideum slugs. D. discoideum slugs migrating in darkness are repelled by (exhibit negative chemotaxis to) crude STF exudates. Dose-response curves relating the accuracies of phototaxis and negative chemotaxis to STF concentration indicate that, in both phototaxis and chemotaxis, slugs measure the ratios of STF concentrations on their opposite sides. Net STF release is enhanced by light. Researchers propose that light, focused onto the slug's distal side by its convex surface, generates a lateral STF gradient in response to which the slug turns toward the light source.

  14. Excitability in Dictyostelium development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, David

    2013-03-01

    Discovering how populations of cells reliably develop into complex multi-cellular structures is a key challenge in modern developmental biology. This requires an understanding of how networks at the single-cell level, when combined with intercellular signaling and environmental cues, give rise to the collective behaviors observed in cellular populations. I will present work in collaboration with the Gregor lab, showing that the signal-relay response of starved cells of the amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum can be well modeled as an excitable system. This is in contrast to existing models of the network that postulate a feed-forward cascade. I then extend the signal-relay model to describe how spatial gradient sensing may be achieved via excitability. One potential advantage of relying on feedback for gradient sensing is in preventing ``cheaters'' that do not produce signals from taking over the population. I then combine these models of single-cell signaling and chemotaxis to perform large-scale agent-based simulations of aggregating populations. This allows direct study of how variations in single-cell dynamics modify population behavior. In order to further test this model, I use the results of a screen for mutant cell lines that exhibit altered collective patterns. Finally, I use an existing FRET movie database of starved cell populations at varying cell densities and dilution rates to study heterogeneity in repeated spatio-temporal activity patterns.

  15. The Dictyostelium Kinome—Analysis of the Protein Kinases from a Simple Model Organism

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Allen; Fey, Petra; Pilcher, Karen E; Xu, Yanji; Smith, Janet L

    2006-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum is a widely studied model organism with both unicellular and multicellular forms in its developmental cycle. The Dictyostelium genome encodes 285 predicted protein kinases, similar to the count of the much more advanced Drosophila. It contains members of most kinase classes shared by fungi and metazoans, as well as many previously thought to be metazoan specific, indicating that they have been secondarily lost from the fungal lineage. This includes the entire tyrosine kinase–like (TKL) group, which is expanded in Dictyostelium and includes several novel receptor kinases. Dictyostelium lacks tyrosine kinase group kinases, and most tyrosine phosphorylation appears to be mediated by TKL kinases. About half of Dictyostelium kinases occur in subfamilies not present in yeast or metazoa, suggesting that protein kinases have played key roles in the adaptation of Dictyostelium to its habitat. This study offers insights into kinase evolution and provides a focus for signaling analysis in this system. PMID:16596165

  16. Biochemical Responses to Chemically Distinct Chemoattractants During the Growth and Development of Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Meena, Netra Pal; Kimmel, Alan R

    2016-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum has proven an excellent model for the study of eukaryotic chemotaxis. During growth in its native environment, Dictyostelium phagocytose bacteria and fungi for primary nutrient capture. Growing Dictyostelium can detect these nutrient sources through chemotaxis toward the metabolic by-product folate. Although Dictyostelium grow as individual cells, nutrient depletion induces a multicellular development program and a separate chemotactic response pathway. During development, Dictyostelium synthesize and secrete cAMP, which serves as a chemoattractant to mobilize and coordinate cells for multicellular formation and development. Separate classes of GPCRs and Gα proteins mediate chemotactic signaling to the chemically distinct ligands. We discuss common and separate component responses of Dictyostelium to folate and cAMP during growth and development, and the advantages and disadvantages for each. As examples, we present biochemical assays to characterize the chemoattractant-induced kinase activations of mTORC2 and the ERKs.

  17. mRNA decay rates in late-developing Dictyostelium discoideum cells are heterogeneous, and cyclic AMP does not act directly to stabilize cell-type-specific mRNAs.

    PubMed Central

    Manrow, R E; Jacobson, A

    1988-01-01

    We reevaluated the use of 32PO4 pulse-chases for analyzing mRNA decay rates in late-developing Dictyostelium cells. We found that completely effective PO4 chases could not be obtained in developing cells and that, as a consequence, the decay rates exhibited by some mRNAs were influenced by the rates at which they were transcribed. In developing cells disaggregated in the presence of cyclic AMP, the poly(A)+ mRNA population turned over with an apparent half-life of 4 h, individual mRNA decay rates were heterogeneous, and some prestalk and prespore mRNAs appeared to decay with biphasic kinetics. In cells disaggregated in the absence of cyclic AMP, all prestalk and prespore mRNAs decayed with biphasic kinetics. During the first 1 to 1.5 h after disaggregation in the absence of cyclic AMP, the cell-type-specific mRNAs were selectively degraded, decaying with half-lives of 20 to 30 min; thereafter, the residual prestalk and prespore mRNA molecules decayed at rates that were similar to those measured in the presence of cyclic AMP. This short-term labilization of cell-type-specific mRNAs was observed even for those species not requiring cyclic AMP for their accumulation in developing cells. The observation that cell-type specific mRNAs can decay at similar rates in disaggregated cells with or without cyclic AMP indicates that this compound does not act directly to stabilize prestalk and prespore mRNAs during development and that its primary role in the maintenance of cyclic-AMP-dependent mRNAs is likely to be transcriptional. Images PMID:2847029

  18. Isolation, Synthesis, and Biological Activity of Chlorinated Alkylresorcinols from Dictyostelium Cellular Slime Molds.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Haruhisa; Ito, Ikuko; Takahashi, Katsunori; Ishigaki, Hirotaka; Iizumi, Kyoichi; Kubohara, Yuzuru; Oshima, Yoshiteru

    2017-09-18

    Eight chlorinated alkylresorcinols, monochasiol A-H (1-8), were isolated from the fruiting bodies of Dictyostelium monochasioides. Compounds 1-8 were synthesized to confirm their structures and to obtain sufficient material for performing biological tests. Monochasiol A (1) selectively inhibited the concanavalin A-induced interleukin-2 production in Jurkat cells, a human T lymphocyte cell line. Monochasiols were biogenetically synthesized by the combination of biosynthetic enzymes relating to the principal polyketides, MPBD and DIF-1, produced by Dictyostelium discoideum.

  19. Learning physics of living systems from Dictyostelium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Unlike a new generation of scientists that are being trained directly to work on the physics of living systems, most of us more senior members of the community had to find our way from other research areas. We all have our own stories as to how we made this transition. Here, I describe how a chance encounter with the eukaryotic microorganism Dictyostelium discoideum led to a decades-long research project and taught me valuable lessons about how physics and biology can be mutually supportive disciplines.

  20. Learning Physics of Living Systems from Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Herbert

    2014-01-01

    Unlike a new generation of scientists that are being trained directly to work on the physics of living systems, most of us more senior members of the community had to find our way from other research areas. We all have our own stories as to how we made this transition. Here, I describe how a chance encounter with the eukaryotic microorganism Dictyostelium discoideum led to a decades-long research project and taught me valuable lessons about how physics and biology can be mutually supportive disciplines. PMID:25294248

  1. Learning physics of living systems from Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Levine, Herbert

    2014-10-08

    Unlike a new generation of scientists that are being trained directly to work on the physics of living systems, most of us more senior members of the community had to find our way from other research areas. We all have our own stories as to how we made this transition. Here, I describe how a chance encounter with the eukaryotic microorganism Dictyostelium discoideum led to a decades-long research project and taught me valuable lessons about how physics and biology can be mutually supportive disciplines.

  2. Dictyostelium Cultivation, Transfection, Microscopy and Fractionation

    PubMed Central

    Hirst, Jennifer; Kay, Robert R; Traynor, David

    2015-01-01

    The real time visualisation of fluorescently tagged proteins in live cells using ever more sophisticated microscopes has greatly increased our understanding of the dynamics of key proteins during fundamental physiological processes such as cell locomotion, chemotaxis, cell division and membrane trafficking. In addition the fractionation of cells and isolation of organelles or known compartments can often verify any subcellular localisation and the use of tagged proteins as bait for the immunoprecipitation of material from cell fractions can identify specific binding partners and multiprotein complexes thereby helping assign a function to the tagged protein. We have successfully applied these techniques to the Dictyostelium discoideum protein TSPOON that is part of an ancient heterohexamer membrane trafficking complex (Hirst et al., 2013). TSPOON is the product of the tstD gene in Dictyostelium and is not required for growth or the developmental cycle in this organism. Dictyostelium amoebae will exist in a vegetative phase where growth is sustained by the phagocytosis of bacteria. When this food source is spent they enter a developmental phase where the amoebae aggregate, via chemotaxis to extracellular waves of cAMP, into multicellular structures that subsequently form a fruiting body containing viable spores (Muller-Taubenberger et al., 2013). In the laboratory this cycle takes less than 24 h to complete and as a further aid to manipulation the requirement for a bacterial food source has been circumvented by the derivatisation of the wild type and isolation of axenic strains that can also grow in a nutrient rich broth. Axenic strains like Ax2 are the mainstay of laboratory research using Dictyostelium (Muller-Taubenberger et al., 2013). A description of Dictyostelium cell cultivation, the generation of cell lines that overexpress TSPOON-GFP and TSPOON null cells, and subsequent analysis (Muller-Taubenberger and Ishikawa-Ankerhold, 2013) is detailed below. PMID

  3. The signal to move: D. discoideum go orienteering.

    PubMed

    Kimmel, Alan R; Parent, Carole A

    2003-06-06

    Cells migrating directionally toward a chemoattractant source display a highly polarized cytoskeletal organization, with F-actin localized predominantly at the anterior and myosin II at the lateral and posterior regions. Dictyostelium discoideum has proven a useful system for elucidating signaling pathways that regulate this chemotactic response. During development, extracellular adenosine 3', 5' monophosphate (cAMP) functions as a primary signal to activate cell surface cAMP receptors (cARs). These receptors transduce different signals depending on whether or not they are coupled to heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) (see the STKE Connections Maps). Multiple G protein-stimulated pathways interact to establish polarity in chemotaxing D. discoideum cells by localizing F-actin at their leading edge and by regulating the phosphorylation state and assembly of myosin II. Many of the molecular interactions described are fundamental to the regulation of chemotaxis in other eukaryotic cells.

  4. Chemotactic signals induce cell differentiation in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Darmon, M; Brachet, P; Da Silva, L H

    1975-01-01

    Experiments carried out with the aid of cellophane membranes demonstrate that the morphogenetic block of certain nonaggregating, "aggregateless," mutants may be overcome by diffusible factors excreted by aggregating wild-type cells. The same differentiation process into aggregation-competent cell is observed if mutant amoebae are subjected to external 3':5'-cAMP pulses imposed at 5 min intervals. Wild-type amoebae also respond to cAMP pulses, since the onset of differentiation is more precocious in pulsed than in unpulsed populations. These data suggest that chemotactic signals act as an inducer of cell differentiation. Images PMID:171655

  5. Xpf suppresses the mutagenic consequences of phagocytosis in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Langenick, Judith; Zhang, Xiao-Yin; Traynor, David; Kay, Robert R.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT As time passes, mutations accumulate in the genomes of all living organisms. These changes promote genetic diversity, but also precipitate ageing and the initiation of cancer. Food is a common source of mutagens, but little is known about how nutritional factors cause lasting genetic changes in the consuming organism. Here, we describe an unusual genetic interaction between DNA repair in the unicellular amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum and its natural bacterial food source. We found that Dictyostelium deficient in the DNA repair nuclease Xpf (xpf−) display a severe and specific growth defect when feeding on bacteria. Despite being proficient in the phagocytosis and digestion of bacteria, over time, xpf− Dictyostelium feeding on bacteria cease to grow and in many instances die. The Xpf nuclease activity is required for sustained growth using a bacterial food source. Furthermore, the ingestion of this food source leads to a striking accumulation of mutations in the genome of xpf− Dictyostelium. This work therefore establishes Dictyostelium as a model genetic system to dissect nutritional genotoxicity, providing insight into how phagocytosis can induce mutagenesis and compromise survival fitness. PMID:27872153

  6. Mound-Interface Kinetics in Dictyostelium Aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tutu, Hiroki

    2002-09-01

    The mound development of the cellular slime mold amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum is studied with an interface kinetic model for the height of cell layers. As a competitive role for the chemotaxis, we compare two types of curvature relaxations; the surface relaxation induced by cell-substrate affinity (model A), and that comes from a cell-cell adhesive effect (model B). It is found that both models are characterized by the growth law for the maximum mound height. Based on a self-similarity scaling hypothesis for the spatial structure of streaming pattern, we suggest a scaling law for the growth of mound-height hmax ˜ t1-1/α+β/α with α = 2 (4) for the model A (B) and a number 0 ≤ β < 1.

  7. A user's guide to restriction enzyme-mediated integration in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Guerin, Nicholas A; Larochelle, Denis A

    2002-01-01

    Restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) has been used to study a number of cellular and developmental processes in Dictyostelium discoideum. In this paper we review the basics of this powerful method of introducing random mutations in Dictyostelium. Here we discuss several mutation screens that have been devised and some of the genes that have been discovered through this approach to mutagenesis. Included in this discussion is how one goes about isolating a gene that has been disrupted by REMI, and how one confirms that this disruption is actually responsible for the observed phenotype. Finally, we describe how REMI can be used as an effective teaching tool in undergraduate cell biology laboratory courses.

  8. Signal relay during the life cycle of Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Mahadeo, Dana C; Parent, Carole A

    2006-01-01

    A fundamental property of multicellular organisms is signal relay, the process by which information is transmitted from one cell to another. The integration of external information, such as nutritional status or developmental cues, is critical to the function of organisms. In addition, the spatial organizations of multicellular organisms require intricate signal relay mechanisms. Signal relay is remarkably exhibited during the life cycle of the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum, a eukaryote that retains a simple way of life, yet it has greatly contributed to our knowledge of the mechanisms cells use to communicate and integrate information. This chapter focuses on the molecules and mechanisms that Dictyostelium employs during its life cycle to relay temporal and spatial cues that are required for survival.

  9. Self-organized Motion During Dictyostelium amoebae aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Herbert

    2004-03-01

    After starvation, amoeba of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum aggregate to form rudimentary multicellular organisms. The coordination of the individual motions of hundreds of thousands of individual cells is an important ingredient in the success of this process. This coordination is accomplished by chemical signaling during the early stages and by direct cell-cell interactions once the cells reach the nascent mound. This talk will review the basic nonequilibrium physics underlying the spatial patterns formed by these cooperative motions, including high-density incoming streams and spontaneously rotating mounds.

  10. Dictyostelium Lipid Droplets Host Novel Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Du, Xiaoli; Barisch, Caroline; Paschke, Peggy; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Bertinetti, Oliver; Pawolleck, Nadine; Otto, Heike; Rühling, Harald; Feussner, Ivo; Herberg, Friedrich W.

    2013-01-01

    Across all kingdoms of life, cells store energy in a specialized organelle, the lipid droplet. In general, it consists of a hydrophobic core of triglycerides and steryl esters surrounded by only one leaflet derived from the endoplasmic reticulum membrane to which a specific set of proteins is bound. We have chosen the unicellular organism Dictyostelium discoideum to establish kinetics of lipid droplet formation and degradation and to further identify the lipid constituents and proteins of lipid droplets. Here, we show that the lipid composition is similar to what is found in mammalian lipid droplets. In addition, phospholipids preferentially consist of mainly saturated fatty acids, whereas neutral lipids are enriched in unsaturated fatty acids. Among the novel protein components are LdpA, a protein specific to Dictyostelium, and Net4, which has strong homologies to mammalian DUF829/Tmem53/NET4 that was previously only known as a constituent of the mammalian nuclear envelope. The proteins analyzed so far appear to move from the endoplasmic reticulum to the lipid droplets, supporting the concept that lipid droplets are formed on this membrane. PMID:24036346

  11. Skipper, an LTR retrotransposon of Dictyostelium.

    PubMed Central

    Leng, P; Klatte, D H; Schumann, G; Boeke, J D; Steck, T L

    1998-01-01

    The complete sequence of a retrotransposon from Dictyostelium discoideum , named skipper , was obtained from cDNA and genomic clones. The sequence of a nearly full-length skipper cDNA was similar to that of three other partially sequenced cDNAs. The corresponding retrotransposon is represented in approximately 15-20 copies and is abundantly transcribed. Skipper contains three open reading frames (ORFs) with an unusual sequence organization, aspects of which resemble certain mammalian retroviruses. ORFs 1 and 3 correspond to gag and pol genes; the second ORF, pro, corresponding to protease, was separated from gag by a single stop codon followed shortly thereafter by a potential pseudoknot. ORF3 (pol) was separated from pro by a +1 frameshift. ORFs 2 and 3 overlapped by 32 bp. The computed amino acid sequences of the skipper ORFs contain regions resembling retrotransposon polyprotein domains, including a nucleic acid binding protein, aspartyl protease, reverse transcriptase and integrase. Skipper is the first example of a retrotransposon with a separate pro gene. Skipper is also novel in that it appears to use stop codon suppression rather than frameshifting to modulate pro expression. Finally, skipper and its components may provide useful tools for the genetic characterization of Dictyostelium. PMID:9518497

  12. A Cytohesin Homolog in Dictyostelium Amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Shina, Maria Christina; Müller, Rolf; Blau-Wasser, Rosemarie; Glöckner, Gernot; Schleicher, Michael; Eichinger, Ludwig; Noegel, Angelika A.; Kolanus, Waldemar

    2010-01-01

    Background Dictyostelium, an amoeboid motile cell, harbors several paralogous Sec7 genes that encode members of three distinct subfamilies of the Sec7 superfamily of Guanine nucleotide exchange factors. Among them are proteins of the GBF/BIG family present in all eukaryotes. The third subfamily represented with three members in D. discoideum is the cytohesin family that has been thought to be metazoan specific. Cytohesins are characterized by a Sec7 PH tandem domain and have roles in cell adhesion and migration. Principal Findings Dictyostelium SecG exhibits highest homologies to the cytohesins. It harbors at its amino terminus several ankyrin repeats that are followed by the Sec7 PH tandem domain. Mutants lacking SecG show reduced cell-substratum adhesion whereas cell-cell adhesion that is important for development is not affected. Accordingly, multicellular development proceeds normally in the mutant. During chemotaxis secG− cells elongate and migrate in a directed fashion towards cAMP, however speed is moderately reduced. Significance The data indicate that SecG is a relevant factor for cell-substrate adhesion and reveal the basic function of a cytohesin in a lower eukaryote. PMID:20186335

  13. Morphogenesis, Dictyostelium, and the search for shared developmental processes.

    PubMed

    Sunderland, Mary Evelyn

    2011-12-01

    In the 1930s John Tyler Bonner began studying the slime mold, Dictyostelium discoideum, as a way to investigate how organisms develop. With a life cycle that includes periods of unicellularity and multicellularity, Dictyostelium raises questions fundamental to development and evolution. In Morphogenesis: An Essay on Development (1952), Bonner built on his work with Dictyostelium to inform developmental theory and practice. By exploring how Bonner's early work with Dictyostelium motivated his synthetic approach in Morphogenesis, this paper presents an example of how those who studied development sought ways to gain traction in the rapidly changing life sciences. While a biochemical viewpoint of development became dominant, morphogenesis provided a way to reintroduce and emphasize biological organization at the organismal level. Bonner's early work offers a window to mid-twentieth century studies of development, an understudied area in the history of science, and shows that it was a time when growing experimental evidence enabled new ways of thinking about the relationship between ontogeny and evolution, and more broadly, about how the parts of nature might fit together.

  14. Modeling oscillations and spiral waves in Dictyostelium populations.

    PubMed

    Noorbakhsh, Javad; Schwab, David J; Sgro, Allyson E; Gregor, Thomas; Mehta, Pankaj

    2015-06-01

    Unicellular organisms exhibit elaborate collective behaviors in response to environmental cues. These behaviors are controlled by complex biochemical networks within individual cells and coordinated through cell-to-cell communication. Describing these behaviors requires new mathematical models that can bridge scales-from biochemical networks within individual cells to spatially structured cellular populations. Here we present a family of "multiscale" models for the emergence of spiral waves in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Our models exploit new experimental advances that allow for the direct measurement and manipulation of the small signaling molecule cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) used by Dictyostelium cells to coordinate behavior in cellular populations. Inspired by recent experiments, we model the Dictyostelium signaling network as an excitable system coupled to various preprocessing modules. We use this family of models to study spatially unstructured populations of "fixed" cells by constructing phase diagrams that relate the properties of population-level oscillations to parameters in the underlying biochemical network. We then briefly discuss an extension of our model that includes spatial structure and show how this naturally gives rise to spiral waves. Our models exhibit a wide range of novel phenomena. including a density-dependent frequency change, bistability, and dynamic death due to slow cAMP dynamics. Our modeling approach provides a powerful tool for bridging scales in modeling of Dictyostelium populations.

  15. Dictyostelium cells migrate similarly on surfaces of varying chemical composition.

    PubMed

    McCann, Colin P; Rericha, Erin C; Wang, Chenlu; Losert, Wolfgang; Parent, Carole A

    2014-01-01

    During cell migration, cell-substrate binding is required for pseudopod anchoring to move the cell forward, yet the interactions with the substrate must be sufficiently weak to allow parts of the cell to de-adhere in a controlled manner during typical protrusion/retraction cycles. Mammalian cells actively control cell-substrate binding and respond to extracellular conditions with localized integrin-containing focal adhesions mediating mechanotransduction. We asked whether mechanotransduction also occurs during non-integrin mediated migration by examining the motion of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, which is thought to bind non-specifically to surfaces. We discovered that Dictyostelium cells are able to regulate forces generated by the actomyosin cortex to maintain optimal cell-surface contact area and adhesion on surfaces of various chemical composition and that individual cells migrate with similar speed and contact area on the different surfaces. In contrast, during collective migration, as observed in wound healing and metastasis, the balance between surface forces and protrusive forces is altered. We found that Dictyostelium collective migration dynamics are strongly affected when cells are plated on different surfaces. These results suggest that the presence of cell-cell contacts, which appear as Dictyostelium cells enter development, alter the mechanism cells use to migrate on surfaces of varying composition.

  16. Modeling oscillations and spiral waves in Dictyostelium populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noorbakhsh, Javad; Schwab, David J.; Sgro, Allyson E.; Gregor, Thomas; Mehta, Pankaj

    2015-06-01

    Unicellular organisms exhibit elaborate collective behaviors in response to environmental cues. These behaviors are controlled by complex biochemical networks within individual cells and coordinated through cell-to-cell communication. Describing these behaviors requires new mathematical models that can bridge scales—from biochemical networks within individual cells to spatially structured cellular populations. Here we present a family of "multiscale" models for the emergence of spiral waves in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Our models exploit new experimental advances that allow for the direct measurement and manipulation of the small signaling molecule cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) used by Dictyostelium cells to coordinate behavior in cellular populations. Inspired by recent experiments, we model the Dictyostelium signaling network as an excitable system coupled to various preprocessing modules. We use this family of models to study spatially unstructured populations of "fixed" cells by constructing phase diagrams that relate the properties of population-level oscillations to parameters in the underlying biochemical network. We then briefly discuss an extension of our model that includes spatial structure and show how this naturally gives rise to spiral waves. Our models exhibit a wide range of novel phenomena. including a density-dependent frequency change, bistability, and dynamic death due to slow cAMP dynamics. Our modeling approach provides a powerful tool for bridging scales in modeling of Dictyostelium populations.

  17. Guenther Gerisch and Dictyostelium, the microbial model for ameboid motility and multicellular morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Bozzaro, Salvatore; Fisher, Paul R; Loomis, William; Satir, Peter; Segall, Jeffrey E

    2004-10-01

    Beginning in 1960 and continuing to this day, Guenther Gerisch's work on the social ameba Dictyostelium discoideum has helped to make it the model organism of choice for studies of cellular activities that depend upon the actomyosin cytoskeleton. Gerisch has brought insight and quantitative rigor to cell biology by developing novel assays and by applying advanced genetic, biochemical and microscopic techniques to topics as varied as cell-cell adhesion, chemotaxis, motility, endocytosis and cytokinesis.

  18. Addition and correction: the NF-kappa B-like DNA binding activity observed in Dictyostelium nuclear extracts is due to the GBF transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Traincard, F; Ponte, E; Pun, J; Coukell, B; Veron, M

    2001-10-01

    We have previously reported that a NF-kappa B transduction pathway was likely to be present in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. This conclusion was based on several observations, including the detection of developmentally regulated DNA binding proteins in Dictyostelium nuclear extracts that bound to bona fide kappa B sequences. We have now performed additional experiments which demonstrate that the protein responsible for this NF-kappa B-like DNA binding activity is the Dictyostelium GBF (G box regulatory element binding factor) transcription factor. This result, along with the fact that no sequence with significant similarity to components of the mammalian NF-kappa B pathway can be found in Dictyostelium genome, now almost entirely sequenced, led us to reconsider our previous conclusion on the occurrence of a NF-kappa B signal transduction pathway in Dictyostelium.

  19. Lipid droplet dynamics at early stages of Mycobacterium marinum infection in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Barisch, Caroline; Paschke, Peggy; Hagedorn, Monica; Maniak, Markus; Soldati, Thierry

    2015-09-01

    Lipid droplets exist in virtually every cell type, ranging not only from mammals to plants, but also to eukaryotic and prokaryotic unicellular organisms such as Dictyostelium and bacteria. They serve among other roles as energy reservoir that cells consume in times of starvation. Mycobacteria and some other intracellular pathogens hijack these organelles as a nutrient source and to build up their own lipid inclusions. The mechanisms by which host lipid droplets are captured by the pathogenic bacteria are extremely poorly understood. Using the powerful Dictyostelium discoideum/Mycobacterium marinum infection model, we observed that, immediately after their uptake, lipid droplets translocate to the vicinity of the vacuole containing live but not dead mycobacteria. Induction of lipid droplets in Dictyostelium prior to infection resulted in a vast accumulation of neutral lipids and sterols inside the bacterium-containing compartment. Subsequently, under these conditions, mycobacteria accumulated much larger lipid inclusions. Strikingly, the Dictyostelium homologue of perilipin and the murine perilipin 2 surrounded bacteria that had escaped to the cytosol of Dictyostelium or microglial BV-2 cells respectively. Moreover, bacterial growth was inhibited in Dictyostelium plnA knockout cells. In summary, our results provide evidence that mycobacteria actively manipulate the lipid metabolism of the host from very early infection stages.

  20. Intracellular killing of bacteria: is Dictyostelium a model macrophage or an alien?

    PubMed

    Cosson, Pierre; Lima, Wanessa C

    2014-06-01

    Predation of bacteria by phagocytic cells was first developed during evolution by environmental amoebae. Many of the core mechanisms used by amoebae to sense, ingest and kill bacteria have also been conserved in specialized phagocytic cells in mammalian organisms. Here we focus on recent results revealing how Dictyostelium discoideum senses and kills non-pathogenic bacteria. In this model, genetic analysis of intracellular killing of bacteria has revealed a surprisingly complex array of specialized mechanisms. These results raise new questions on these processes, and challenge current models based largely on studies in mammalian phagocytes. In addition, recent studies suggest one additional level on complexity by revealing how Dictyostelium recognizes specifically various bacterial species and strains, and adapts its metabolism to process them. It remains to be seen to what extent mechanisms uncovered in Dictyostelium are also used in mammalian phagocytic cells.

  1. One stop shop for everything Dictyostelium: dictyBase and the Dicty Stock Center in 2012

    PubMed Central

    Fey, Petra; Dodson, Robert J.; Basu, Siddhartha; Chisholm, Rex L.

    2013-01-01

    dictyBase (http:// dictybase.org), the model organism database for Dictyostelium discoideum, includes the complete genome sequence and expression data for this organism. Relevant literature is integrated into the database, and gene models and functional annotation are manually curated from experimental results and comparative multigenome analyses. dictyBase has recently expanded to include the genome sequences of three additional Dictyostelids, and has added new software tools to facilitate multigenome comparisons. The Dicty Stock Center, a strain and plasmid repository for Dictyostelium research has relocated to Northwestern University in 2009. This allowed us integrating all Dictyostelium resources to better serve the research community. In this chapter, we will describe how to navigate the website and highlight some of our newer improvements. PMID:23494302

  2. Intracellular killing of bacteria: is Dictyostelium a model macrophage or an alien?

    PubMed Central

    Cosson, Pierre; Lima, Wanessa C

    2014-01-01

    Predation of bacteria by phagocytic cells was first developed during evolution by environmental amoebae. Many of the core mechanisms used by amoebae to sense, ingest and kill bacteria have also been conserved in specialized phagocytic cells in mammalian organisms. Here we focus on recent results revealing how Dictyostelium discoideum senses and kills non-pathogenic bacteria. In this model, genetic analysis of intracellular killing of bacteria has revealed a surprisingly complex array of specialized mechanisms. These results raise new questions on these processes, and challenge current models based largely on studies in mammalian phagocytes. In addition, recent studies suggest one additional level on complexity by revealing how Dictyostelium recognizes specifically various bacterial species and strains, and adapts its metabolism to process them. It remains to be seen to what extent mechanisms uncovered in Dictyostelium are also used in mammalian phagocytic cells. PMID:24628900

  3. Studying the Protein Quality Control System of D. discoideum Using Temperature-controlled Live Cell Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Malinovska, Liliana; Alberti, Simon

    2016-01-01

    The complex lifestyle of the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum makes it a valuable model for the study of various biological processes. Recently, we showed that D. discoideum is remarkably resilient to protein aggregation and can be used to gain insights into the cellular protein quality control system. However, the use of D. discoideum as a model system poses several challenges to microscopy-based experimental approaches, such as the high motility of the cells and their susceptibility to photo-toxicity. The latter proves to be especially challenging when studying protein homeostasis, as the phototoxic effects can induce a cellular stress response and thus alter to behavior of the protein quality control system. Temperature increase is a commonly used way to induce cellular stress. Here, we describe a temperature-controllable imaging protocol, which allows observing temperature-induced perturbations in D. discoideum. Moreover, when applied at normal growth temperature, this imaging protocol can also noticeably reduce photo-toxicity, thus allowing imaging with higher intensities. This can be particularly useful when imaging proteins with very low expression levels. Moreover, the high mobility of the cells often requires the acquisition of multiple fields of view to follow individual cells, and the number of fields needs to be balanced against the desired time interval and exposure time. PMID:28060267

  4. Autophagy in Dictyostelium: Mechanisms, regulation and disease in a simple biomedical model.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, Ana; Cardenal-Muñoz, Elena; Dominguez, Eunice; Muñoz-Braceras, Sandra; Nuñez-Corcuera, Beatriz; Phillips, Ben A; Tábara, Luis C; Xiong, Qiuhong; Coria, Roberto; Eichinger, Ludwig; Golstein, Pierre; King, Jason S; Soldati, Thierry; Vincent, Olivier; Escalante, Ricardo

    2017-01-02

    Autophagy is a fast-moving field with an enormous impact on human health and disease. Understanding the complexity of the mechanism and regulation of this process often benefits from the use of simple experimental models such as the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Since the publication of the first review describing the potential of D. discoideum in autophagy, significant advances have been made that demonstrate both the experimental advantages and interest in using this model. Since our previous review, research in D. discoideum has shed light on the mechanisms that regulate autophagosome formation and contributed significantly to the study of autophagy-related pathologies. Here, we review these advances, as well as the current techniques to monitor autophagy in D. discoideum. The comprehensive bioinformatics search of autophagic proteins that was a substantial part of the previous review has not been revisited here except for those aspects that challenged previous predictions such as the composition of the Atg1 complex. In recent years our understanding of, and ability to investigate, autophagy in D. discoideum has evolved significantly and will surely enable and accelerate future research using this model.

  5. Protein misfolding in Dictyostelium: Using a freak of nature to gain insight into a universal problem.

    PubMed

    Malinovska, Liliana; Alberti, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Prion-like proteins can undergo conformational rearrangements from an intrinsically disordered to a highly ordered amyloid state. This ability to change conformation is encoded in distinctive domains, termed prion domains (PrDs). Previous work suggests that PrDs change conformation to affect protein function and create phenotypic diversity. More recent work shows that PrDs can also undergo many weak interactions when disordered, allowing them to organize the intracellular space into dynamic compartments. However, mutations within PrDs and altered aggregation properties have also been linked to age-related diseases in humans. Thus, the physiological role of prion-like proteins, the mechanisms regulating their conformational promiscuity and the links to disease are still unclear. Here, we summarize recent work with prion-like proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum. This work was motivated by the finding that D. discoideum has the highest content of prion-like proteins of all organisms investigated to date. Surprisingly, we find that endogenous and exogenous prion-like proteins remain soluble in D. discoideum and do not misfold and aggregate. We provide evidence that this is due to specific adaptations in the protein quality control machinery, which may allow D. discoideum to tolerate its highly aggregation-prone proteome. We predict that D. discoideum will be an important model to study the function of prion-like proteins and their mechanistic links to disease.

  6. How social evolution theory impacts our understanding of development in the social amoeba Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Strassmann, Joan E; Queller, David C

    2011-05-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum has been very useful for elucidating principles of development over the last 50 years, but a key attribute means there is a lot to be learned from a very different intellectual tradition: social evolution. Because Dictyostelium arrives at multicellularity by aggregation instead of through a single-cell bottleneck, the multicellular body could be made up of genetically distinct cells. If they are genetically distinct, natural selection will result in conflict over which cells become fertile spores and which become dead stalk cells. Evidence for this conflict includes unequal representation of two genetically different clones in spores of a chimera, the poison-like differentiation inducing factor (DIF) system that appears to involve some cells forcing others to become stalk, and reduced functionality in migrating chimeras. Understanding how selection operates on chimeras of genetically distinct clones is crucial for a comprehensive view of Dictyostelium multicellularity. In nature, Dictyostelium fruiting bodies are often clonal, or nearly so, meaning development will often be very cooperative. Relatedness levels tell us what benefits must be present for sociality to evolve. Therefore it is important to measure relatedness in nature, show that it has an impact on cooperation in the laboratory, and investigate genes that Dictyostelium uses to discriminate between relatives and non-relatives. Clearly, there is a promising future for research at the interface of development and social evolution in this fascinating group.

  7. Salmonella typhimurium is pathogenic for Dictyostelium cells and subverts the starvation response.

    PubMed

    Sillo, Alessio; Matthias, Jan; Konertz, Roman; Bozzaro, Salvatore; Eichinger, Ludwig

    2011-11-01

    In unicellular amoebae, such as Dictyostelium discoideum, bacterial phagocytosis is a food hunting device, while in higher organisms it is the first defence barrier against microbial infection. In both cases, pathogenic bacteria exploit phagocytosis to enter the cell and multiply intracellularly. Salmonella typhimurium, the agent of food-borne gastroenteritis, is phagocytosed by both macrophages and Dictyostelium cells. By using cell biological assays and global transcriptional analysis with DNA microarrays covering the Dictyostelium genome, we show here that S. typhimurium is pathogenic for Dictyostelium cells. Depending on the degree of virulence, which in turn depended on bacterial growth conditions, Salmonella could kill Dictyostelium cells or inhibit their growth and development. In the early phase of infection in non-nutrient buffer, the ingested bacteria escaped degradation, induced a starvation-like transcriptional response but inhibited selectively genes required for chemotaxis and aggregation. This way differentiation of the host cells into spore and stalk cells was blocked or delayed, which in turn is likely to be favourable for the establishment of a replicative niche for Salmonella. Inhibition of the aggregation competence and chemotactic streaming of aggregation-competent cells in the presence of Salmonella suggests interference with cAMP signalling.

  8. Naringenin is a novel inhibitor of Dictyostelium cell proliferation and cell migration

    SciTech Connect

    Russ, Misty; Martinez, Raquel; Ali, Hind; Steimle, Paul A. . E-mail: p_steiml@uncg.edu

    2006-06-23

    Naringenin is a flavanone compound that alters critical cellular processes such as cell multiplication, glucose uptake, and mitochondrial activity. In this study, we used the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum, as a model system for examining the cellular processes and signaling pathways affected by naringenin. We found that naringenin inhibited Dictyostelium cell division in a dose-dependent manner (IC{sub 5} {approx} 20 {mu}M). Assays of Dictyostelium chemotaxis and multicellular development revealed that naringenin possesses a previously unrecognized ability to suppress amoeboid cell motility. We also found that naringenin, which is known to inhibit phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity, had no apparent effect on phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate synthesis in live Dictyostelium cells; suggesting that this compound suppresses cell growth and migration via alternative signaling pathways. In another context, the discoveries described here highlight the value of using the Dictyostelium model system for identifying and characterizing the mechanisms by which naringenin, and related compounds, exert their effects on eukaryotic cells.

  9. Optimizing heterologous expression in Dictyostelium: importance of 5′ codon adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Vervoort, Elisa B.; van Ravestein, Arno; van Peij, Noël N. M. E.; Heikoop, Judith C.; van Haastert, Peter J. M.; Verheijden, Gijs F.; Linskens, Maarten H. K.

    2000-01-01

    Expression of heterologous proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum presents unique research opportunities, such as the functional analysis of complex human glycoproteins after random mutagenesis. In one study, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and human follicle stimulating hormone were expressed in Dictyostelium. During the course of these experiments, we also investigated the role of codon usage and of the DNA sequence upstream of the ATG start codon. The Dictyostelium genome has a higher AT content than the human, resulting in a different codon preference. The hCG-β gene contains three clusters with infrequently used codons that were changed to codons that are preferred by Dictyostelium. The results reported here show that optimizing the first 5–17 codons of the hCG gene contributes to 4- to 5-fold increased expression levels, but that further optimization has no significant effect. These observations suggest that optimal codon usage contributes to ribosome stabilization, but does not play an important role during the elongation phase of translation. Furthermore, adapting the 5′-sequence of the hCG gene to the Dictyostelium ‘Kozak’-like sequence increased expression levels ~1.5-fold. Thus, using both codon optimization and ‘Kozak’ adaptation, a 6- to 8-fold increase in expression levels could be obtained for hCG. PMID:10773074

  10. Simple system--substantial share: the use of Dictyostelium in cell biology and molecular medicine.

    PubMed

    Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Kortholt, Arjan; Eichinger, Ludwig

    2013-02-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum offers unique advantages for studying fundamental cellular processes, host-pathogen interactions as well as the molecular causes of human diseases. The organism can be easily grown in large amounts and is amenable to diverse biochemical, cell biological and genetic approaches. Throughout their life cycle Dictyostelium cells are motile, and thus are perfectly suited to study random and directed cell motility with the underlying changes in signal transduction and the actin cytoskeleton. Dictyostelium is also increasingly used for the investigation of human disease genes and the crosstalk between host and pathogen. As a professional phagocyte it can be infected with several human bacterial pathogens and used to study the infection process. The availability of a large number of knock-out mutants renders Dictyostelium particularly useful for the elucidation and investigation of host cell factors. A powerful armory of molecular genetic techniques that have been continuously expanded over the years and a well curated genome sequence, which is accessible via the online database dictyBase, considerably strengthened Dictyostelium's experimental attractiveness and its value as model organism.

  11. A Stochastic Description of Dictyostelium Chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Amselem, Gabriel; Theves, Matthias; Bae, Albert; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Beta, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    Chemotaxis, the directed motion of a cell toward a chemical source, plays a key role in many essential biological processes. Here, we derive a statistical model that quantitatively describes the chemotactic motion of eukaryotic cells in a chemical gradient. Our model is based on observations of the chemotactic motion of the social ameba Dictyostelium discoideum, a model organism for eukaryotic chemotaxis. A large number of cell trajectories in stationary, linear chemoattractant gradients is measured, using microfluidic tools in combination with automated cell tracking. We describe the directional motion as the interplay between deterministic and stochastic contributions based on a Langevin equation. The functional form of this equation is directly extracted from experimental data by angle-resolved conditional averages. It contains quadratic deterministic damping and multiplicative noise. In the presence of an external gradient, the deterministic part shows a clear angular dependence that takes the form of a force pointing in gradient direction. With increasing gradient steepness, this force passes through a maximum that coincides with maxima in both speed and directionality of the cells. The stochastic part, on the other hand, does not depend on the orientation of the directional cue and remains independent of the gradient magnitude. Numerical simulations of our probabilistic model yield quantitative agreement with the experimental distribution functions. Thus our model captures well the dynamics of chemotactic cells and can serve to quantify differences and similarities of different chemotactic eukaryotes. Finally, on the basis of our model, we can characterize the heterogeneity within a population of chemotactic cells. PMID:22662138

  12. Bitter tastant responses in the amoeba Dictyostelium correlate with rat and human taste assays.

    PubMed

    Cocorocchio, Marco; Ives, Robert; Clapham, David; Andrews, Paul L R; Williams, Robin S B

    2016-01-01

    Treatment compliance is reduced when pharmaceutical compounds have a bitter taste and this is particularly marked for paediatric medications. Identification of bitter taste liability during drug discovery utilises the rat in vivo brief access taste aversion (BATA) test which apart from animal use is time consuming with limited throughput. We investigated the suitability of using a simple, non-animal model, the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to investigate taste-related responses and particularly identification of compounds with a bitter taste liability. The effect of taste-related compounds on Dictyostelium behaviour following acute exposure (15 minutes) was monitored. Dictyostelium did not respond to salty, sour, umami or sweet tasting compounds, however, cells rapidly responded to bitter tastants. Using time-lapse photography and computer-generated quantification to monitor changes in cell membrane movement, we developed an assay to assess the response of Dictyostelium to a wide range of structurally diverse known bitter compounds and blinded compounds. Dictyostelium showed varying responses to the bitter tastants, with IC50 values providing a rank order of potency. Comparison of Dictyostelium IC50 values to those observed in response to a similar range of compounds in the rat in vivo brief access taste aversion test showed a significant (p = 0.0172) positive correlation between the two models, and additionally a similar response to that provided by a human sensory panel assessment test. These experiments demonstrate that Dictyostelium may provide a suitable model for early prediction of bitterness for novel tastants and drugs. Interestingly, a response to bitter tastants appears conserved from single-celled amoebae to humans.

  13. Dictyostelium phenylalanine hydroxylase is activated by its substrate phenylalanine.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hye-Lim; Park, Mi-Bee; Kim, Yumin; Yang, Yun Gyeong; Lee, Soo-Woong; Zhuang, Ningning; Lee, Kon Ho; Park, Young Shik

    2012-10-19

    We have studied the regulatory function of Dictyostelium discoideum Ax2 phenylalanine hydroxylase (dicPAH) via characterization of domain structures. Including the full-length protein, partial proteins truncated in regulatory, tetramerization, or both, were prepared from Escherichia coli as his-tag proteins and examined for oligomeric status and catalytic parameters for phenylalanine. The proteins were also expressed extrachromosomally in the dicPAH knockout strain to examine their in vivo compatibility. The results suggest that phenylalanine activates dicPAH, which is functional in vivo as a tetramer, although cooperativity was not observed. In addition, the results of kinetic study suggest that the regulatory domain of dicPAH may play a role different from that of the domain in mammalian PAH.

  14. Cell Sorting in the Mound Stage of Dictyostelium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yi; Levine, Herbert; Glazier, James

    1998-03-01

    In the mound stage of slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, cells differentiated into two types: pre-stalk and pre-spore. Pre-stalk cells sort and form a tip at the apex of the mound of prespore cells. How this pattern forms is as yet unknown. A cellular level model allows us to simulate both differential cell adhesion and chemotaxis, two principle mechanisms for cell migration. Simulations show that with differential adhesion only, pre-stalk cells move to the surface of the mound but form no tip. With chemotaxis driven by an outgoing circular wave only, a tip forms but contains both pre-stalk and pre-spore cells. Only for a narrow range of relative strengths between differential adhesion and chemotaxis, can both mechanisms work in concert to form a tip which contains only pre-stalk cells. The simulations provide a method to determine the processes necessary for patterning and suggest a series of further experiments.

  15. Burkholderia bacteria infectiously induce the proto-farming symbiosis of Dictyostelium amoebae and food bacteria.

    PubMed

    DiSalvo, Susanne; Haselkorn, Tamara S; Bashir, Usman; Jimenez, Daniela; Brock, Debra A; Queller, David C; Strassmann, Joan E

    2015-09-08

    Symbiotic associations can allow an organism to acquire novel traits by accessing the genetic repertoire of its partner. In the Dictyostelium discoideum farming symbiosis, certain amoebas (termed "farmers") stably associate with bacterial partners. Farmers can suffer a reproductive cost but also gain beneficial capabilities, such as carriage of bacterial food (proto-farming) and defense against competitors. Farming status previously has been attributed to amoeba genotype, but the role of bacterial partners in its induction has not been examined. Here, we explore the role of bacterial associates in the initiation, maintenance, and phenotypic effects of the farming symbiosis. We demonstrate that two clades of farmer-associated Burkholderia isolates colonize D. discoideum nonfarmers and infectiously endow them with farmer-like characteristics, indicating that Burkholderia symbionts are a major driver of the farming phenomenon. Under food-rich conditions, Burkholderia-colonized amoebas produce fewer spores than uncolonized counterparts, with the severity of this reduction being dependent on the Burkholderia colonizer. However, the induction of food carriage by Burkholderia colonization may be considered a conditionally adaptive trait because it can confer an advantage to the amoeba host when grown in food-limiting conditions. We observed Burkholderia inside and outside colonized D. discoideum spores after fruiting body formation; this observation, together with the ability of Burkholderia to colonize new amoebas, suggests a mixed mode of symbiont transmission. These results change our understanding of the D. discoideum farming symbiosis by establishing that the bacterial partner, Burkholderia, is an important causative agent of the farming phenomenon.

  16. Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking Turing-Type Pattern Formation in a Confined Dictyostelium Cell Mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawai, Satoshi; Maeda, Yasuo; Sawada, Yasuji

    2000-09-01

    We have discovered a new type of patterning which occurs in a two-dimensionally confined cell mass of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Besides the longitudinal structure reported earlier, we observed a spontaneous symmetry breaking spot pattern whose wavelength shows similar strain dependency to that of the longitudinal pattern. We propose that these structures are due to a reaction-diffusion Turing instability similar to the one which has been exemplified by CIMA (chlorite-iodide-malonic acid) reaction. The present finding may exhibit the first biochemical Turing structure in a developmental system with a controllable boundary condition.

  17. Two Dictyostelium ribosomal proteins act as RNases for specific classes of mRNAs.

    PubMed Central

    Mangiarotti, Giorgio

    2003-01-01

    Phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 leads to the stabilization of pre-spore specific mRNAs during development of Dictyostelium discoideum. The purification of S6 kinase has allowed the identification of protein S11 as the mRNase specific for pre-spore mRNAs. Methylation of ribosomal protein S31 leads to the destabilization of ribosomal protein mRNAs. The purification of S31 methyltransferase has allowed the identification of protein S29 as the mRNAse specific for ribosomal protein mRNAs. PMID:12392449

  18. Two Dictyostelium ribosomal proteins act as RNases for specific classes of mRNAs.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, Giorgio

    2003-03-01

    Phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 leads to the stabilization of pre-spore specific mRNAs during development of Dictyostelium discoideum. The purification of S6 kinase has allowed the identification of protein S11 as the mRNase specific for pre-spore mRNAs. Methylation of ribosomal protein S31 leads to the destabilization of ribosomal protein mRNAs. The purification of S31 methyltransferase has allowed the identification of protein S29 as the mRNAse specific for ribosomal protein mRNAs.

  19. Role of PKD2 in rheotaxis in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Lima, Wanessa C; Vinet, Adrien; Pieters, Jean; Cosson, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    The sensing of mechanical forces modulates several cellular responses as adhesion, migration and differentiation. Transient elevations of calcium concentration play a key role in the activation of cells following mechanical stress, but it is still unclear how eukaryotic cells convert a mechanical signal into an ion flux. In this study, we used the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum to assess systematically the role of individual calcium channels in mechanosensing. Our results indicate that PKD2 is the major player in the cell response to rheotaxis (i.e., shear-flow induced mechanical motility), while other putative calcium channels play at most minor roles. Mutant pkd2 KO cells lose the ability to orient relative to a shear flow, whereas their ability to move towards a chemoattractant is unaffected. PKD2 is also important for calcium-induced lysosome exocytosis: WT cells show a transient, 2-fold increase in lysosome secretion upon sudden exposure to high levels of extracellular calcium, but pkd2 KO cells do not. In Dictyostelium, PKD2 is specifically localized at the plasma membrane, where it may generate calcium influxes in response to mechanical stress or extracellular calcium changes.

  20. Discovery of myosin genes by physical mapping in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed Central

    Titus, M A; Kuspa, A; Loomis, W F

    1994-01-01

    The diversity of the myosin family in a single organism, Dictyostelium discoideum, has been investigated by a strategy devised to rapidly identify and clone additional members of a gene family. An ordered array of yeast artificial chromosome clones that encompasses the Dictyostelium genome was probed at low stringency with conserved regions of the myosin motor domain to identify all possible myosin loci. The previously identified myosin loci (mchA, myoA-E) were detected by hybridization to the probes, as well as an additional seven previously unidentified loci (referred to as myoF-L). Clones corresponding to four of these additional loci (myoF, myoH-J) were obtained by using the isolated yeast artificial chromosomes as templates in a PCR employing degenerate primers specific for conserved regions of the myosin head. Sequence analysis and physical mapping of these clones confirm that these PCR products are derived from four previously unidentified myosin genes. Preliminary analysis of these sequences suggests that at least one of the genes (myoJ) encodes a member of a potentially different class of myosins. With the development of whole genome libraries for a variety of organisms, this approach can be used to rapidly explore the diversity of this and other gene families in a number of systems. PMID:7937787

  1. Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes respond to waves of chemoattractant, like Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Geiger, Jeremy; Wessels, Deborah; Soll, David R

    2003-09-01

    It has been assumed that the natural chemotactic signal that attracts human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) over long distances to sites of infection is in the form of a standing spatial gradient of chemoattractant. We have questioned this assumption on the grounds, first, that standing spatial gradients may not be stable over long distances for long periods of time and, second, that in the one animal cell chemotaxis system in which the natural chemotactic signal has been described in space and time, aggregation of Dicytostelium discoideum, the signal is in the form of an outwardly relayed, nondissipating wave of attractant. Here, it is demonstrated that PMNs alter their behavior in each of the four phases of a wave of PMN chemoattractant, fashioned after the Dictyostelium wave, in a manner similar to Dictyostelium. These results demonstrate that PMNs have all of the machinery to respond to a natural wave of attractant, providing support to the hypothesis that the natural signal that attracts PMNs over large distances to sites of infection in the human body may also be in the form of a wave. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Identification of regions essential for extrachromosomal replication and maintenance of an endogenous plasmid in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed Central

    Ahern, K G; Howard, P K; Firtel, R A

    1988-01-01

    Initial experiments with the endogenous 12.3 kb Dictyostelium discoideum plasmid Ddp1 led to the generation of a large shuttle vector, Ddp1-20. In addition to Ddp1, this vector contains pBR322 and a gene fusion that confers G418 resistance in Dictyostelium cells. We have shown that Ddp1-20 replicates extrachromosomally in Dictyostelium cells and can be grown in Escherichia coli cells (1). We have now examined deletions within this vector to identify the elements essential for extrachromosomal replication and stable maintenance of the plasmid. We find that a 2.2 kb fragment is sufficient to confer stable, extrachromosomal replication with a reduction in copy number from about 40 to approximately 10-15 copies per cell. Vectors containing additional Ddp1 sequences have a higher copy number. The 2.2 kb region contains none of the complete, previously identified transcription units on Ddp1 expressed during vegetative growth or development. These results suggest that gene products expressed by Ddp1 are not essential for replication, stability, or partitioning of the plasmid between daughter cells. Vectors carrying only the 2.2 kb fragment plus the gene fusion conferring G418 resistance transform Dictyostelium cells with high efficiency using either calcium phosphate mediated transformation or electroporation. Finally, we have examined the relative levels of expression of actin promoters driving neoR genes when in extrachromosomal or integrating vectors. Images PMID:3405751

  3. Targets downstream of Cdk8 in Dictyostelium development

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cdk8 is a component of the mediator complex which facilitates transcription by RNA polymerase II and has been shown to play an important role in development of Dictyostelium discoideum. This eukaryote feeds as single cells but starvation triggers the formation of a multicellular organism in response to extracellular pulses of cAMP and the eventual generation of spores. Strains in which the gene encoding Cdk8 have been disrupted fail to form multicellular aggregates unless supplied with exogenous pulses of cAMP and later in development, cdk8- cells show a defect in spore production. Results Microarray analysis revealed that the cdk8- strain previously described (cdk8-HL) contained genome duplications. Regeneration of the strain in a background lacking detectable gene duplication generated strains (cdk8-2) with identical defects in growth and early development, but a milder defect in spore generation, suggesting that the severity of this defect depends on the genetic background. The failure of cdk8- cells to aggregate unless rescued by exogenous pulses of cAMP is consistent with a failure to express the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A. However, overexpression of the gene encoding this protein was not sufficient to rescue the defect, suggesting that this is not the only important target for Cdk8 at this stage of development. Proteomic analysis revealed two potential targets for Cdk8 regulation, one regulated post-transcriptionally (4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPD)) and one transcriptionally (short chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR1)). Conclusions This analysis has confirmed the importance of Cdk8 at multiple stages of Dictyostelium development, although the severity of the defect in spore production depends on the genetic background. Potential targets of Cdk8-mediated gene regulation have been identified in Dictyostelium which will allow the mechanism of Cdk8 action and its role in development to be determined. PMID:21255384

  4. Dictyostelium slug phototaxis.

    PubMed

    Annesley, Sarah J; Fisher, Paul R

    2009-01-01

    Dictyostelium slugs are able to respond to environmental stimuli in an extremely sensitive and efficient way. This enables a slug to migrate to more favourable locations for formation of fruiting bodies and dispersal of spores. Phototaxis is a readily assayed phenotype and reflects the interactions of environmental stimuli with morphogenetic signalling systems controlling the movement of the slug. The methods for assaying phototaxis are described here. Qualitative phototaxis tests are described and can be used for rapid screening of potential mutants or effects of pharmacological agents. These tests are simple to conduct yet care must be taken in order to avoid the effects of high cell density which can be misleading when interpreting results. Quantitative phototaxis tests can be performed with known cell densities of amoebae which ensures that any effects seen are caused by the mutation or pharmacological agent and not simply due to differences in cell densities.

  5. Dissecting the function of Atg1 complex in Dictyostelium autophagy reveals a connection with the pentose phosphate pathway enzyme transketolase

    PubMed Central

    Mesquita, Ana; Tábara, Luis C.; Martinez-Costa, Oscar; Santos-Rodrigo, Natalia; Vincent, Olivier; Escalante, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    The network of protein–protein interactions of the Dictyostelium discoideum autophagy pathway was investigated by yeast two-hybrid screening of the conserved autophagic proteins Atg1 and Atg8. These analyses confirmed expected interactions described in other organisms and also identified novel interactors that highlight the complexity of autophagy regulation. The Atg1 kinase complex, an essential regulator of autophagy, was investigated in detail here. The composition of the Atg1 complex in D. discoideum is more similar to mammalian cells than to Saccharomyces cerevisiae as, besides Atg13, it contains Atg101, a protein not conserved in this yeast. We found that Atg101 interacts with Atg13 and genetic disruption of these proteins in Dictyostelium leads to an early block in autophagy, although the severity of the developmental phenotype and the degree of autophagic block is higher in Atg13-deficient cells. We have also identified a protein containing zinc-finger B-box and FNIP motifs that interacts with Atg101. Disruption of this protein increases autophagic flux, suggesting that it functions as a negative regulator of Atg101. We also describe the interaction of Atg1 kinase with the pentose phosphate pathway enzyme transketolase (TKT). We found changes in the activity of endogenous TKT activity in strains lacking or overexpressing Atg1, suggesting the presence of an unsuspected regulatory pathway between autophagy and the pentose phosphate pathway in Dictyostelium that seems to be conserved in mammalian cells. PMID:26246495

  6. Dissecting the function of Atg1 complex in Dictyostelium autophagy reveals a connection with the pentose phosphate pathway enzyme transketolase.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, Ana; Tábara, Luis C; Martinez-Costa, Oscar; Santos-Rodrigo, Natalia; Vincent, Olivier; Escalante, Ricardo

    2015-08-01

    The network of protein-protein interactions of the Dictyostelium discoideum autophagy pathway was investigated by yeast two-hybrid screening of the conserved autophagic proteins Atg1 and Atg8. These analyses confirmed expected interactions described in other organisms and also identified novel interactors that highlight the complexity of autophagy regulation. The Atg1 kinase complex, an essential regulator of autophagy, was investigated in detail here. The composition of the Atg1 complex in D. discoideum is more similar to mammalian cells than to Saccharomyces cerevisiae as, besides Atg13, it contains Atg101, a protein not conserved in this yeast. We found that Atg101 interacts with Atg13 and genetic disruption of these proteins in Dictyostelium leads to an early block in autophagy, although the severity of the developmental phenotype and the degree of autophagic block is higher in Atg13-deficient cells. We have also identified a protein containing zinc-finger B-box and FNIP motifs that interacts with Atg101. Disruption of this protein increases autophagic flux, suggesting that it functions as a negative regulator of Atg101. We also describe the interaction of Atg1 kinase with the pentose phosphate pathway enzyme transketolase (TKT). We found changes in the activity of endogenous TKT activity in strains lacking or overexpressing Atg1, suggesting the presence of an unsuspected regulatory pathway between autophagy and the pentose phosphate pathway in Dictyostelium that seems to be conserved in mammalian cells.

  7. The prokaryote messenger c-di-GMP triggers stalk cell differentiation in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhi-hui; Schaap, Pauline

    2012-08-30

    Cyclic di-(3′:5′)-guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) is a major prokaryote signalling intermediate that is synthesized by diguanylate cyclases and triggers sessility and biofilm formation. We detected the first eukaryote diguanylate cyclases in all major groups of Dictyostelia. On food depletion, Dictyostelium discoideum amoebas collect into aggregates, which first transform into migrating slugs and then into sessile fruiting structures. These structures consist of a spherical spore mass that is supported by a column of stalk cells and a basal disk. A polyketide, DIF-1, which induces stalk-like cells in vitro, was isolated earlier. However, its role in vivo proved recently to be restricted to basal disk formation. Here we show that the Dictyostelium diguanylate cyclase, DgcA, produces c-di-GMP as the morphogen responsible for stalk cell differentiation. Dictyostelium discoideum DgcA synthesized c-di-GMP in a GTP-dependent manner and was expressed at the slug tip, which is the site of stalk cell differentiation. Disruption of the DgcA gene blocked the transition from slug migration to fructification and the expression of stalk genes. Fructification and stalk formation were restored by exposing DgcA-null slugs to wild-type secretion products or to c-di-GMP. Moreover, c-di-GMP, but not cyclic di-(3′:5′)-adenosine monophosphate, induced stalk gene expression in dilute cell monolayers. Apart from identifying the long-elusive stalk-inducing morphogen, our work also identifies a role for c-di-GMP in eukaryotes.

  8. Transmembrane myosin chitin synthase involved in mollusc shell formation produced in Dictyostelium is active

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenitzer, Veronika; Eichner, Norbert; Clausen-Schaumann, Hauke; Weiss, Ingrid M.

    2011-12-02

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Dictyostelium produces the 264 kDa myosin chitin synthase of bivalve mollusc Atrina. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Chitin synthase activity releases chitin, partly associated with the cell surface. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Membrane extracts of transgenic slime molds produce radiolabeled chitin in vitro. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Chitin producing Dictyostelium cells can be characterized by atomic force microscopy. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer This model system enables us to study initial processes of chitin biomineralization. -- Abstract: Several mollusc shells contain chitin, which is formed by a transmembrane myosin motor enzyme. This protein could be involved in sensing mechanical and structural changes of the forming, mineralizing extracellular matrix. Here we report the heterologous expression of the transmembrane myosin chitin synthase Ar-CS1 of the bivalve mollusc Atrina rigida (2286 amino acid residues, M.W. 264 kDa/monomer) in Dictyostelium discoideum, a model organism for myosin motor proteins. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy (CLSM), chitin binding GFP detection of chitin on cells and released to the cell culture medium, and a radiochemical activity assay of membrane extracts revealed expression and enzymatic activity of the mollusc chitin synthase in transgenic slime mold cells. First high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of Ar-CS1 transformed cellulose synthase deficient D. discoideumdcsA{sup -} cell lines are shown.

  9. Morphological changes and depressed phagocytic efficiency in Dictyostelium amoebae treated with toxic concentrations of cadmium

    SciTech Connect

    Cyr, R.J.; Bernstein, R.L.

    1984-10-01

    The morphology and phagocytic efficiency of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae exposed to cadmium was investigated at two Cd concentrations: a low toxic concentration - 7 x 10/sup -5/ m, and a high toxic concentration - 2 x 10/sup -4/ m. Both concentrations inhibited growth completely; however, only in the culture containing a high toxic concentration of cadmium were severe ultrastructural anomalies observed, notably, nucleolar changes and autophagic vacuolar formation. Using biological indices it was concluded that the high concentration of cadmium was lethal and that morphological changes associated with this dose of cadmium may be secondary to cell death. In contrast, amoebae treated with a low toxic but nonlethal concentration of Cd showed an altered size distribution of cytoplasmic vacuoles and a decreased phagocytic efficiency. Cultures whose growth was completely inhibited with cobalt were also examined, as were untreated control cultures. By 24 hr Cd-treated amoebae showed a 20% decrease in the cytoplasmic mean-vacuolar diameter and a 69% decrease in phagocytic efficiency whereas Co and untreated controls showed no significant decrease in the cytoplasmic mean-vacuolar diameter. Phagocytic efficiency was only slightly diminished by Co. Changes in vacuolar profiles had been shown earlier to be related to membrane utilization in Dictyostelium amoebae. Cd at low toxic concentrations affects membrane function in Dictyostelium amoebae.

  10. Two distinct sensing pathways allow recognition of Klebsiella pneumoniae by Dictyostelium amoebae.

    PubMed

    Lima, Wanessa C; Balestrino, Damien; Forestier, Christiane; Cosson, Pierre

    2014-03-01

    Recognition of bacteria by metazoans is mediated by receptors that recognize different types of microorganisms and elicit specific cellular responses. The soil amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum feeds upon a variable mixture of environmental bacteria, and it is expected to recognize and adapt to various food sources. To date, however, no bacteria-sensing mechanisms have been described. In this study, we isolated a Dictyostelium mutant (fspA KO) unable to grow in the presence of non-capsulated Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria, but growing as efficiently as wild-type cells in the presence of other bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis. fspA KO cells were also unable to respond to K. pneumoniae and more specifically to bacterially secreted folate in a chemokinetic assay, while they responded readily to B. subtilis. Remarkably, both WT and fspA KO cells were able to grow in the presence of capsulated LM21 K. pneumoniae, and responded to purified capsule, indicating that capsule recognition may represent an alternative, FspA-independent mechanism for K. pneumoniae sensing. When LM21 capsule synthesis genes were deleted, growth and chemokinetic response were lost for fspA KO cells, but not for WT cells. Altogether, these results indicate that Dictyostelium amoebae use specific recognition mechanisms to respond to different K. pneumoniae elements.

  11. The effects of expression of an activated rasG mutation on the differentiation of Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Thiery, R; Robbins, S; Khosla, M; Spiegelman, G B; Weeks, G

    1992-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum contains two ras genes, rasG and rasD, that are expressed during growth and differentiation, respectively. It was shown previously that Dictyostelium transformants expressing an activated rasD gene (a mutation producing a change in amino acid 12 from glycine to threonine) developed abnormally. When developed on filters these transformants formed multitipped aggregates, which did not go on to produce final fruiting bodies, but in a submerged culture assay on a plastic surface they either formed small aggregates or did not aggregate. In this study we transformed cells with the rasG gene, mutated to change amino acid 12 from glycine to threonine. The resulting transformants developed normally on filters, but aggregation under other conditions was impaired. In particular, in submerged culture on a plastic surface they either produced very small aggregates or did not aggregate, one of the phenotypes exhibited by the activated rasD transformants. Molecular analysis of the transformants revealed the presence of high copy numbers of the mutated rasG gene, but the level of expression of the mutant gene never exceeded the level of expression of the endogenous gene. These results indicate a powerful dominant effect of a relatively small amount of the activated RasG protein in Dictyostelium.

  12. Two distinct sensing pathways allow recognition of Klebsiella pneumoniae by Dictyostelium amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Wanessa C; Balestrino, Damien; Forestier, Christiane; Cosson, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Summary Recognition of bacteria by metazoans is mediated by receptors that recognize different types of microorganisms and elicit specific cellular responses. The soil amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum feeds upon a variable mixture of environmental bacteria, and it is expected to recognize and adapt to various food sources. To date, however, no bacteria-sensing mechanisms have been described. In this study, we isolated a Dictyostelium mutant (fspA KO) unable to grow in the presence of non-capsulated Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria, but growing as efficiently as wild-type cells in the presence of other bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis. fspA KO cells were also unable to respond to K. pneumoniae and more specifically to bacterially secreted folate in a chemokinetic assay, while they responded readily to B. subtilis. Remarkably, both WT and fspA KO cells were able to grow in the presence of capsulated LM21 K. pneumoniae, and responded to purified capsule, indicating that capsule recognition may represent an alternative, FspA-independent mechanism for K. pneumoniae sensing. When LM21 capsule synthesis genes were deleted, growth and chemokinetic response were lost for fspA KO cells, but not for WT cells. Altogether, these results indicate that Dictyostelium amoebae use specific recognition mechanisms to respond to different K. pneumoniae elements. PMID:24128258

  13. Conserved valproic-acid-induced lipid droplet formation in Dictyostelium and human hepatocytes identifies structurally active compounds.

    PubMed

    Elphick, Lucy M; Pawolleck, Nadine; Guschina, Irina A; Chaieb, Leila; Eikel, Daniel; Nau, Heinz; Harwood, John L; Plant, Nick J; Williams, Robin S B

    2012-03-01

    Lipid droplet formation and subsequent steatosis (the abnormal retention of lipids within a cell) has been reported to contribute to hepatotoxicity and is an adverse effect of many pharmacological agents including the antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA). In this study, we have developed a simple model system (Dictyostelium discoideum) to investigate the effects of VPA and related compounds in lipid droplet formation. In mammalian hepatocytes, VPA increases lipid droplet accumulation over a 24-hour period, giving rise to liver cell damage, and we show a similar effect in Dictyostelium following 30 minutes of VPA treatment. Using (3)H-labelled polyunsaturated (arachidonic) or saturated (palmitic) fatty acids, we shown that VPA treatment of Dictyostelium gives rise to an increased accumulation of both types of fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and non-polar lipids in this time period, with a similar trend observed in human hepatocytes (Huh7 cells) labelled with [(3)H]arachidonic acid. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of β-oxidation in Dictyostelium phenocopies fatty acid accumulation, in agreement with data reported in mammalian systems. Using Dictyostelium, we then screened a range of VPA-related compounds to identify those with high and low lipid-accumulation potential, and validated these activities for effects on lipid droplet formation by using human hepatocytes. Structure-activity relationships for these VPA-related compounds suggest that lipid accumulation is independent of VPA-catalysed teratogenicity and inositol depletion. These results suggest that Dictyostelium could provide both a novel model system for the analysis of lipid droplet formation in human hepatocytes and a rapid method for identifying VPA-related compounds that show liver toxicology.

  14. Conserved valproic-acid-induced lipid droplet formation in Dictyostelium and human hepatocytes identifies structurally active compounds

    PubMed Central

    Elphick, Lucy M.; Pawolleck, Nadine; Guschina, Irina A.; Chaieb, Leila; Eikel, Daniel; Nau, Heinz; Harwood, John L.; Plant, Nick J.; Williams, Robin S. B.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Lipid droplet formation and subsequent steatosis (the abnormal retention of lipids within a cell) has been reported to contribute to hepatotoxicity and is an adverse effect of many pharmacological agents including the antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA). In this study, we have developed a simple model system (Dictyostelium discoideum) to investigate the effects of VPA and related compounds in lipid droplet formation. In mammalian hepatocytes, VPA increases lipid droplet accumulation over a 24-hour period, giving rise to liver cell damage, and we show a similar effect in Dictyostelium following 30 minutes of VPA treatment. Using 3H-labelled polyunsaturated (arachidonic) or saturated (palmitic) fatty acids, we shown that VPA treatment of Dictyostelium gives rise to an increased accumulation of both types of fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and non-polar lipids in this time period, with a similar trend observed in human hepatocytes (Huh7 cells) labelled with [3H]arachidonic acid. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of β-oxidation in Dictyostelium phenocopies fatty acid accumulation, in agreement with data reported in mammalian systems. Using Dictyostelium, we then screened a range of VPA-related compounds to identify those with high and low lipid-accumulation potential, and validated these activities for effects on lipid droplet formation by using human hepatocytes. Structure-activity relationships for these VPA-related compounds suggest that lipid accumulation is independent of VPA-catalysed teratogenicity and inositol depletion. These results suggest that Dictyostelium could provide both a novel model system for the analysis of lipid droplet formation in human hepatocytes and a rapid method for identifying VPA-related compounds that show liver toxicology. PMID:22003123

  15. A Dictyostelium cellobiohydrolase orthologue that affects developmental timing.

    PubMed

    Kunii, Mizuho; Yasuno, Mami; Shindo, Yuki; Kawata, Takefumi

    2014-02-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum is a facultative multicellular amoebozoan with cellulose in the stalk and spore coat of its fruiting body as well as in the extracellular matrix of the migrating slug. The organism also harbors a number of cellulase genes. One of them, cbhA, was identified as a candidate cellobiohydrolase gene based on the strong homology of its predicted protein product to fungal cellobiohydrolase I (CBHI). Expression of the cbhA was developmentally regulated, with strong expression in the spores of the mature fruiting body. However, a weak but detectable level of expression was observed in the extracellular matrix at the mound - tipped finger stages, in prestalk O cells, and in the slime sheath of the migrating slug - late culminant stages. A null mutant of the cbhA showed almost normal morphology. However, the developmental timing of the mutant was delayed by 2-4 h. When a c-Myc epitope-tagged CbhA was expressed, it was secreted into the culture medium and was able to bind crystalline cellulose. The CbhA-myc protein was glycosylated, as demonstrated by its ability to bind succinyl concanavalin A-agarose. Moreover, conditioned medium from the cbhA-myc (oe) strain displayed 4-methylumbelliferyl β-D-cellobioside (4-MUC) digesting activity in Zymograms in which conditioned medium was examined via native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis or spotted on an agar plate containing 4-MUC, one of the substrates of cellobiohydrolase. Taken together, these findings indicate that Dictyostelium CbhA is an orthologue of CBH I that is required for a normal rate of development.

  16. Quantification of social behavior in D. discoideum reveals complex fixed and facultative strategies.

    PubMed

    Buttery, Neil J; Rozen, Daniel E; Wolf, Jason B; Thompson, Christopher R L

    2009-08-25

    Understanding the maintenance of cooperation requires an understanding of the nature of cheaters and the strategies used to mitigate their effects. However, it is often difficult to determine how cheating or differential social success has arisen. For example, cheaters may employ different strategies (e.g., fixed and facultative), whereas other causes of unequal fitness in social situations can result in winners and losers without cheating. To address these problems, we quantified the social success of naturally occurring genotypes of Dictyostelium discoideum during the formation of chimeric fruiting bodies, consisting of dead stalk cells and viable spores. We demonstrate that an apparent competitive dominance hierarchy of spore formation in chimera is partly due to a fixed strategy where genotypes exhibit dramatically different spore allocations. However, we also find complex, variable facultative strategies, where genotypes change their allocation in chimera. By determining the magnitude and direction of these changes, we partition facultative cheating into two forms: (1) promotion of individual fitness through selfish behaviour ("self-promotion") and (2) coercion of other genotypes to act cooperatively. Our results demonstrate and define social interactions between D. discoideum isolates, thus providing a conceptual framework for the study of the genetic mechanisms that underpin social evolution.

  17. Copine A is expressed in prestalk cells and regulates slug phototaxis and thermotaxis in developing Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Flegel, Kerry A; Pineda, Jaimie M; Smith, Tasha S; Laszczyk, Ann M; Price, Janet M; Karasiewicz, Kristen M; Damer, Cynthia K

    2011-10-01

    Copines are calcium-dependent membrane-binding proteins found in many eukaryotic organisms. We are studying the function of copines using the model organism, Dictyostelium discoideum. When under starvation conditions, Dictyostelium cells aggregate into mounds that become migrating slugs, which can move toward light and heat before culminating into a fruiting body. Previously, we showed that Dictyostelium cells lacking the copine A (cpnA) gene are not able to form fruiting bodies and instead arrest at the slug stage. In this study, we compared the slug behavior of cells lacking the cpnA gene to the slug behavior of wild-type cells. The slugs formed by cpnA- cells were much larger than wild-type slugs and exhibited no phototaxis and negative thermotaxis in the same conditions that wild-type slugs exhibited positive phototaxis and thermotaxis. Mixing as little as 5% wild-type cells with cpnA- cells rescued the phototaxis and thermotaxis defects, suggesting that CpnA plays a specific role in the regulation of the production and/or release of a signaling molecule. Reducing extracellular levels of ammonia also partially rescued the phototaxis and thermotaxis defects of cpnA- slugs, suggesting that CpnA may have a specific role in regulating ammonia signaling. Expressing the lacZ gene under the cpnA promoter in wild-type cells indicated cpnA is preferentially expressed in the prestalk cells found in the anterior part of the slug, which include the cells at the tip of the slug that regulate phototaxis, thermotaxis, and the initiation of culmination into fruiting bodies. Our results suggest that CpnA plays a role in the regulation of the signaling pathways, including ammonia signaling, necessary for sensing and/or orienting toward light and heat in the prestalk cells of the Dictyostelium slug.

  18. Copine A is expressed in prestalk cells and regulates slug phototaxis and thermotaxis in developing Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Flegel, Kerry A.; Pineda, Jaimie M.; Smith, Tasha S.; Laszczyk, Ann M.; Price, Janet M.; Karasiewicz, Kristen M.; Damer, Cynthia K.

    2011-01-01

    Copines are calcium-dependent membrane-binding proteins found in many eukaryotic organisms. We are studying the function of copines using the model organism, Dictyostelium discoideum. When under starvation conditions, Dictyostelium cells aggregate into mounds that become migrating slugs, which can move toward light and heat before culminating into a fruiting body. Previously, we showed that Dictyostelium cells lacking the copine A (cpnA) gene are not able to form fruiting bodies and instead arrest at the slug stage. In this study, we compared the slug behavior of cells lacking the cpnA gene to the slug behavior of wild-type cells. The slugs formed by cpnA- cells were much larger than wild-type slugs and exhibited no phototaxis and negative thermotaxis in the same conditions that wild-type slugs exhibited positive phototaxis and thermotaxis. Mixing as little as 5% wild-type cells with cpnA- cells rescued the phototaxis and thermotaxis defects, suggesting that CpnA plays a specific role in the regulation of the production and/or release of a signaling molecule. Reducing extracellular levels of ammonia also partially rescued the phototaxis and thermotaxis defects of cpnA- slugs, suggesting that CpnA may have a specific role in regulating ammonia signaling. Expressing the lacZ gene under the cpnA promoter in wild-type cells indicated cpnA is preferentially expressed in the prestalk cells found in the anterior part of the slug, which include the cells at the tip of the slug that regulate phototaxis, thermotaxis, and the initiation of culmination into fruiting bodies. Our results suggest that CpnA plays a role in the regulation of the signaling pathways, including ammonia signaling, necessary for sensing and/or orienting toward light and heat in the prestalk cells of the Dictyostelium slug. PMID:21950343

  19. Developmental lineage priming in Dictyostelium by heterogeneous Ras activation.

    PubMed

    Chattwood, Alex; Nagayama, Koki; Bolourani, Parvin; Harkin, Lauren; Kamjoo, Marzieh; Weeks, Gerald; Thompson, Christopher R L

    2013-11-26

    In cell culture, genetically identical cells often exhibit heterogeneous behavior, with only 'lineage primed' cells responding to differentiation inducing signals. It has recently been proposed that such heterogeneity exists during normal embryonic development to allow position independent patterning based on 'salt and pepper' differentiation and sorting out. However, the molecular basis of lineage priming and how it leads to reproducible cell type proportioning are poorly understood. To address this, we employed a novel forward genetic approach in the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. These studies reveal that the Ras-GTPase regulator gefE is required for normal lineage priming and salt and pepper differentiation. This is because Ras-GTPase activity sets the intrinsic response threshold to lineage specific differentiation signals. Importantly, we show that although gefE expression is uniform, transcription of its target, rasD, is both heterogeneous and dynamic, thus providing a novel mechanism for heterogeneity generation and position-independent differentiation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01067.001.

  20. Developmental lineage priming in Dictyostelium by heterogeneous Ras activation

    PubMed Central

    Chattwood, Alex; Nagayama, Koki; Bolourani, Parvin; Harkin, Lauren; Kamjoo, Marzieh; Weeks, Gerald; Thompson, Christopher RL

    2013-01-01

    In cell culture, genetically identical cells often exhibit heterogeneous behavior, with only ‘lineage primed’ cells responding to differentiation inducing signals. It has recently been proposed that such heterogeneity exists during normal embryonic development to allow position independent patterning based on ‘salt and pepper’ differentiation and sorting out. However, the molecular basis of lineage priming and how it leads to reproducible cell type proportioning are poorly understood. To address this, we employed a novel forward genetic approach in the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. These studies reveal that the Ras-GTPase regulator gefE is required for normal lineage priming and salt and pepper differentiation. This is because Ras-GTPase activity sets the intrinsic response threshold to lineage specific differentiation signals. Importantly, we show that although gefE expression is uniform, transcription of its target, rasD, is both heterogeneous and dynamic, thus providing a novel mechanism for heterogeneity generation and position-independent differentiation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01067.001 PMID:24282234

  1. Analysis of specific mRNA destabilization during Dictyostelium development.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G; Bulfone, S; Giorda, R; Morandini, P; Ceccarelli, A; Hames, B D

    1989-07-01

    A number of specific mRNAs are destabilized upon disaggregation of developing Dictyostelium discoideum cells. Analysis of a family of cloned genes indicates that only prespore-enriched mRNAs are affected; constitutive mRNAs that are expressed throughout development and mRNAs that accumulate preferentially in prestalk cells are stable under these conditions. The decay of sensitive prespore mRNAs can be halted by allowing the cells to reaggregate, indicating that destabilization occurs by the progressive selection of individual molecules rather than on all members of an mRNA subpopulation at the time of disaggregation. Individual molecules of the sensitive mRNA species remain engaged in protein synthesis in the disaggregated cells until selected. Destabilization of sensitive mRNAs is induced by cell dissociation even in the presence of concentrations of nogalamycin that inhibit RNA synthesis. The reported prevention of disaggregation-induced mRNA decay by actinomycin D and daunomycin is therefore probably a secondary effect unrelated to the inhibition of transcription.

  2. Cells at the center of Dictyostelium aggregates become spores.

    PubMed

    Huang, H J; Takagawa, D; Weeks, G; Pears, C

    1997-12-15

    The cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum undergoes a developmental life cycle on starvation to generate a fruiting body consisting of a mass of spores supported on a stalk of dead, vacuolated cells. The choice between alternative cell fates is influenced by a variety of factors including cell cycle position at the onset of starvation. We present evidence to suggest that the cell cycle position influences cell fate by determining the position of cells in the early aggregate. The existence of a strain which cannot initiate development on its own but which can respond to signals generated by nonmutant cells has allowed us to investigate the eventual cell fate of the initiating cells which are, by definition, at the center of the early aggregate. Cells which have a propensity to become prespore cells show an increased efficiency in initiating development of this strain. Labeling the initiating cells by the expression of green fluorescent protein reveals that these cells become spores. The higher levels of expression of genes characteristic of early development in cells with a prespore tendency are consistent with the earlier expression of the components of relay in prespore cells.

  3. EDTA treatment alters protein glycosylation in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.M.; Brownstein, S.A. )

    1988-03-01

    The authors have found that treatment of cells with EDTA resulted in the accumulation of lower molecular weight forms of two cell-type-specific glycoproteins. These new glycoproteins lacked a developmentally regulated glycoantigen defined by monoclonal antibody 54.2. Since EDTA dissociated the cells, the possible involvement of cell separation was tested by immobilizing cells in soft agarose. Glycoantigen expression on these proteins was found to be dependent on cAMP and high oxygen tension but not on cell contact, and was reversibly sensitive to EDTA regardless of the state of cell association. The EDTA effect was mimicked by other soluble, but not particulate, membrane impermeable chelators, could be completed by Zn{sup 2+} better than Mg{sup 2+}, and appeared to involve an intracellular mechanism. Studies with ({sup 14}C)EDTA showed that EDTA equilibrated with a cellular compartment in a temperature-dependent, Zn{sup 2+}-insensitive fashion with half-time kinetics of loading and unloading of 30-40 min. The data suggest that this step in glycosylation, which was found to be delayed 1 or more hours subsequent to protein synthesis, involves an intracellular, transition metal-ion-dependent process which can be modulated by chelators entering the cell through the endocytic pathway.

  4. Control of mRNA stability during development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Mangiarotti, G

    1989-01-01

    A large group of mRNA species (which are mainly pre-spore specific) accumulate only after the formation of multicellular aggregates. They are transcribed at a constant rate from the beginning of development and their accumulation is controlled by a 10-20-fold increase in their stability. This mRNA stabilization is dependent upon multicellularity. When aggregates are dispersed, the mRNAs are destabilized; if cells are allowed to reaggregate, the destabilization is reversed. Destabilization is not due to a selective exclusion of mRNA from polyribosomes, but is a primary control event. It does not require synthesis of new RNA or protein, but it may require an interaction between ribosome and the 5'-end of mRNA molecules.

  5. Comparative study of the sensitivity of spores and amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum to ultraviolet light

    SciTech Connect

    Hashimoto, Y.; Wada, M.

    1980-09-01

    We report the sensitivity change of plaque formation to ultraviolet light (uv) irradiation in several stages of the cellular slime mold from spore to stationary phase, under the special condition which we have obtained - a plating efficiency of 100%. For NC-4 (haploid) and H-1 (diploid), uv sensitivity of cells just after germination was almost equal to that of spores; then the sensitivity decreased with development, reached a minimum just before the first cell division, and remained at that level during logarithmic growth. As to the difference between NC-4 and H-1, NC-4 was more resistant than H-1 at low doses, and H-1 was more resistant than NC-4 at high doses for both spores and amoebae. We also report a pipetting effect which assured reproducible data for amoebae.

  6. dictyExpress: a web-based platform for sequence data management and analytics in Dictyostelium and beyond.

    PubMed

    Stajdohar, Miha; Rosengarten, Rafael D; Kokosar, Janez; Jeran, Luka; Blenkus, Domen; Shaulsky, Gad; Zupan, Blaz

    2017-06-02

    Dictyostelium discoideum, a soil-dwelling social amoeba, is a model for the study of numerous biological processes. Research in the field has benefited mightily from the adoption of next-generation sequencing for genomics and transcriptomics. Dictyostelium biologists now face the widespread challenges of analyzing and exploring high dimensional data sets to generate hypotheses and discovering novel insights. We present dictyExpress (2.0), a web application designed for exploratory analysis of gene expression data, as well as data from related experiments such as Chromatin Immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq). The application features visualization modules that include time course expression profiles, clustering, gene ontology enrichment analysis, differential expression analysis and comparison of experiments. All visualizations are interactive and interconnected, such that the selection of genes in one module propagates instantly to visualizations in other modules. dictyExpress currently stores the data from over 800 Dictyostelium experiments and is embedded within a general-purpose software framework for management of next-generation sequencing data. dictyExpress allows users to explore their data in a broader context by reciprocal linking with dictyBase-a repository of Dictyostelium genomic data. In addition, we introduce a companion application called GenBoard, an intuitive graphic user interface for data management and bioinformatics analysis. dictyExpress and GenBoard enable broad adoption of next generation sequencing based inquiries by the Dictyostelium research community. Labs without the means to undertake deep sequencing projects can mine the data available to the public. The entire information flow, from raw sequence data to hypothesis testing, can be accomplished in an efficient workspace. The software framework is generalizable and represents a useful approach for any research community. To encourage more wide usage, the backend is open

  7. Cell-to-cell coordination for the spontaneous cAMP oscillation in Dictyostelium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagano, Seido; Sakurai, Shunsuke

    2013-12-01

    We propose a new cellular dynamics scheme for the spontaneous cAMP oscillations in Dictyostelium discoideum. Our scheme seamlessly integrates both receptor dynamics and G-protein dynamics into our previously developed cellular dynamics scheme. Extensive computer simulation studies based on our new cellular dynamics scheme were conducted in mutant cells to evaluate the molecular network. The validity of our proposed molecular network as well as the controversial PKA-dependent negative feedback mechanism was supported by our simulation studies. Spontaneous cAMP oscillations were not observed in a single mutant cell. However, multicellular states of various mutant cells consistently initiated spontaneous cAMP oscillations. Therefore, cell-to-cell coordination via the cAMP receptor is essential for the robust initiation of spontaneous cAMP oscillations.

  8. Transmembrane myosin chitin synthase involved in mollusc shell formation produced in Dictyostelium is active.

    PubMed

    Schönitzer, Veronika; Eichner, Norbert; Clausen-Schaumann, Hauke; Weiss, Ingrid M

    2011-12-02

    Several mollusc shells contain chitin, which is formed by a transmembrane myosin motor enzyme. This protein could be involved in sensing mechanical and structural changes of the forming, mineralizing extracellular matrix. Here we report the heterologous expression of the transmembrane myosin chitin synthase Ar-CS1 of the bivalve mollusc Atrina rigida (2286 amino acid residues, M.W. 264 kDa/monomer) in Dictyostelium discoideum, a model organism for myosin motor proteins. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy (CLSM), chitin binding GFP detection of chitin on cells and released to the cell culture medium, and a radiochemical activity assay of membrane extracts revealed expression and enzymatic activity of the mollusc chitin synthase in transgenic slime mold cells. First high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of Ar-CS1 transformed cellulose synthase deficient D. discoideumdcsA(-) cell lines are shown.

  9. Functional analysis of the catalytic subunit of Dictyostelium PKA in vivo.

    PubMed

    Dammann, H; Traincard, F; Anjard, C; van Bemmelen, M X; Reymond, C; Véron, M

    1998-03-01

    The catalytic subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) from Dictyostelium discoideum contains several domains, including an unusually long N-terminal extension preceding a highly conserved catalytic core. We transformed the aggregationless PkaC-null strain with several deletion constructs of both domains. Strains transformed with genes expressing catalytically-inactive polypeptides could not rescue development. Cotransformation with constructs encoding the N-terminal extension and the catalytic core, both unable to rescue development by themselves, yielded transformants able to proceed to late development. A 27-amino acid long hydrophobic region, immediately upstream of the catalytic core, was found indispensable for PKA function. A putative role of this sequence in the acquisition of the active conformation of the protein is discussed.

  10. The effects of transcription on the nucleosome structure of four Dictyostelium genes.

    PubMed Central

    Pavlovic, J; Banz, E; Parish, R W

    1989-01-01

    Micrococcal nuclease digestion of Dictyostelium discoideum nuclei from various developmental stages was used to investigate transcription-related changes in the chromatin structure of the coding region of four genes. Gene activity was determined by Northern blotting and nuclear run on experiments. During strong transcription of the developmentally regulated cysteine proteinase I gene, a smear superimposed on a nucleosomal ladder was observed, indicating perturbation of nucleosomal structure was occurring. However, two other developmentally regulated genes, discoidin I and pSC253, showed only slight nucleosome disruption during high levels of transcription. The chromatin structure of a fourth gene (pCZ22) was disrupted throughout development, even at those stages where transcription was greatly reduced. We suggest that although nucleosome structure can be transiently perturbed by the passage of the transcription complex in vivo, the degree of perturbation and the speed with which nucleosomes reassemble is also influenced by the DNA sequence. Images PMID:2704621

  11. Directional sensing and streaming in Dictyostelium aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almeida, Sofia; Dilão, Rui

    2016-05-01

    We merge the Kessler-Levine simple discrete model for Dictyostelium cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production and diffusion with the Dilão-Hauser directional sensing aggregation mechanism. The resulting compound model describes all the known transient patterns that emerge during Dictyostelium aggregation, which include the spontaneous formation of cAMP self-sustained target and spiral waves and streaming. We show that the streaming patterns depend on the speed of the amoebae, on the relaxation time for the production of cAMP, on the cAMP degradation rate, and on directional sensing. Moreover, we show that different signaling centers emerge during Dictyostelium aggregation.

  12. The GATA transcription factor GtaC regulates early developmental gene expression dynamics in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Santhanam, Balaji; Cai, Huaqing; Devreotes, Peter N; Shaulsky, Gad; Katoh-Kurasawa, Mariko

    2015-07-06

    In many systems, including the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, development is often marked by dynamic morphological and transcriptional changes orchestrated by key transcription factors. However, efforts to examine sequential genome-wide changes of gene regulation in developmental processes have been fairly limited. Here we report the developmental regulatory dynamics of GtaC, a GATA-type zinc-finger transcription factor, through the analyses of serial ChIP- and RNA-sequencing data. GtaC is essential for developmental progression, decoding extracellular cAMP pulses during early development and may play a role in mediating cell-type differentiation at later stages. We find that GtaC exhibits temporally distinctive DNA-binding patterns concordant with each developmental stage. We identify direct GtaC targets and observe cotemporaneous GtaC-binding and developmental expression regulation. Our results suggest that GtaC regulates multiple physiological processes as Dictyostelium transitions from a group of unicellular amoebae to an integrated multicellular organism.

  13. The locomotion, shape and pseudopodial dynamics of unstimulated Dictyostelium cells are not random.

    PubMed

    Killich, T; Plath, P J; Wei, X; Bultmann, H; Rensing, L; Vicker, M G

    1993-12-01

    The dynamic periphery of unstimulated, preaggregation, hunger-stage Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae was investigated by time-lapse videomicroscopy and digital image processing. Circular maps (i.e. of each of 360 radii around the cell transformed upon Cartesian coordinates) were constructed around the centroid of individual cell images and analysed in time series. This novel technique generated spatiotemporal structures of various degrees of order in the maps, which resemble classical wave interference patterns. The patterns thus demonstrate that cell movement is not random and that cells are intrinsically vibrating bodies, transited by self-organized, superpositioned, harmonic modes of rotating oscillatory waves (ROWS). These waves appear to depend upon spatiotemporal oscillations in the physicochemical reactions associated with actin polymerization, and they govern pseudopodial movements, cell shape and locomotion generally. ROWS in this case are unrelated to the cyclic-AMP-regulated oscillations, which characterize later, aggregative populations of Dictyostelium. However, the exposure of aggregation-stage cells to a pulse of the chemoattractant cyclic-AMP induces a characteristic sequence of changes in the global cellular concentration and spatiotemporal distribution of fibrillar (F-)actin. This reaction begins with what appears to be a phase resetting of ROWS and it may, therefore, underlie the cellular perception of and response to chemotactic signals. We also develop here an analytical mathematical description of ROWS, and use it to simulate cell movements accurately.

  14. A cell number-counting factor regulates the cytoskeleton and cell motility in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Lei; Gao, Tong; McCollum, Catherine; Jang, Wonhee; Vicker, Michael G.; Ammann, Robin R.; Gomer, Richard H.

    2002-01-01

    Little is known about how a morphogenetic rearrangement of a tissue is affected by individual cells. Starving Dictyostelium discoideum cells aggregate to form dendritic streams, which then break up into groups of ≈2 × 104 cells. Cell number is sensed at this developmental stage by using counting factor (CF), a secreted complex of polypeptides. A high extracellular concentration of CF indicates that there is a large number of cells, which then causes the aggregation stream to break up. Computer simulations indicated that stream breakup could be caused by CF decreasing cell–cell adhesion and/or increasing cell motility, and we observed that CF does indeed decrease cell–cell adhesion. We find here that CF increases cell motility. In Dictyostelium, motility is mediated by actin and myosin. CF increases the amounts of polymerized actin and the ABP-120 actin-crosslinking protein. Partially inhibiting motility by using drugs that interfere with actin polymerization reduces stream dissipation, resulting in fewer stream breaks and thus larger groups. CF also potentiates the phosphorylation and redistribution of myosin while repressing its basal level of assembly. The computer simulations indicated that a narrower distribution of group sizes results when a secreted factor modulates both adhesion and motility. CF thus seems to induce the morphogenesis of streams into evenly sized groups by increasing actin polymerization, ABP-120 levels, and myosin phosphorylation and decreasing adhesion and myosin polymerization. PMID:11818526

  15. A cell number-counting factor regulates the cytoskeleton and cell motility in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Tang, Lei; Gao, Tong; McCollum, Catherine; Jang, Wonhee; Vicker, Michael G; Ammann, Robin R; Gomer, Richard H

    2002-02-05

    Little is known about how a morphogenetic rearrangement of a tissue is affected by individual cells. Starving Dictyostelium discoideum cells aggregate to form dendritic streams, which then break up into groups of approximately 2 x 10(4) cells. Cell number is sensed at this developmental stage by using counting factor (CF), a secreted complex of polypeptides. A high extracellular concentration of CF indicates that there is a large number of cells, which then causes the aggregation stream to break up. Computer simulations indicated that stream breakup could be caused by CF decreasing cell-cell adhesion and/or increasing cell motility, and we observed that CF does indeed decrease cell-cell adhesion. We find here that CF increases cell motility. In Dictyostelium, motility is mediated by actin and myosin. CF increases the amounts of polymerized actin and the ABP-120 actin-crosslinking protein. Partially inhibiting motility by using drugs that interfere with actin polymerization reduces stream dissipation, resulting in fewer stream breaks and thus larger groups. CF also potentiates the phosphorylation and redistribution of myosin while repressing its basal level of assembly. The computer simulations indicated that a narrower distribution of group sizes results when a secreted factor modulates both adhesion and motility. CF thus seems to induce the morphogenesis of streams into evenly sized groups by increasing actin polymerization, ABP-120 levels, and myosin phosphorylation and decreasing adhesion and myosin polymerization.

  16. Moving towards a paradigm: Common mechanisms of chemotactic signaling in Dictyostelium and mammalian leukocytes

    PubMed Central

    Artemenko, Yulia; Lampert, Thomas J.; Devreotes, Peter N.

    2014-01-01

    Chemotaxis, or directed migration of cells along a chemical gradient, is a highly coordinated process that involves gradient sensing, motility, and polarity. Most of our understanding of chemotaxis comes from studies of cells undergoing amoeboid-type migration, in particular the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum and leukocytes. In these amoeboid cells the molecular events leading to directed migration can be conceptually divided into four interacting networks: receptor/G protein, signal transduction, cytoskeleton, and polarity. The signal transduction network occupies a central position in this scheme as it receives direct input from the receptor/G protein network, as well as feedback from the cytoskeletal and polarity networks. Multiple overlapping modules within the signal transduction network transmit the signals to the actin cytoskeleton network leading to biased pseudopod protrusion in the direction of the gradient. The overall architecture of the networks, as well as the individual signaling modules are remarkably conserved between Dictyostelium and mammalian leukocytes, and the similarities and differences between the two systems are the subject of this review. PMID:24846395

  17. Vps13F links bacterial recognition and intracellular killing in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Leiba, Jade; Sabra, Ayman; Bodinier, Romain; Marchetti, Anna; Lima, Wanessa C.; Melotti, Astrid; Perrin, Jackie; Burdet, Frederic; Pagni, Marco; Soldati, Thierry; Lelong, Emmanuelle

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Bacterial sensing, ingestion, and killing by phagocytic cells are essential processes to protect the human body from infectious microorganisms. The cellular mechanisms involved in intracellular killing, their relative importance, and their specificity towards different bacteria are however poorly defined. In this study, we used Dictyostelium discoideum, a phagocytic cell model amenable to genetic analysis, to identify new gene products involved in intracellular killing. A random genetic screen led us to identify the role of Vps13F in intracellular killing of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Vps13F knock‐out (KO) cells exhibited a delayed intracellular killing of K. pneumoniae, although the general organization of the phagocytic and endocytic pathway appeared largely unaffected. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that vps13F KO cells may be functionally similar to previously characterized fspA KO cells, shown to be defective in folate sensing. Indeed, vps13F KO cells showed a decreased chemokinetic response to various stimulants, suggesting a direct or indirect role of Vps13F in intracellular signaling. Overstimulation with excess folate restored efficient killing in vps13F KO cells. Finally, genetic inactivation of Far1, the folate receptor, resulted in inefficient intracellular killing of K. pneumoniae. Together, these observations show that stimulation of Dictyostelium by bacterial folate is necessary for rapid intracellular killing of K. pneumoniae. PMID:28076662

  18. A micromechanic study of cell polarity and plasma membrane cell body coupling in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed Central

    Merkel, R; Simson, R; Simson, D A; Hohenadl, M; Boulbitch, A; Wallraff, E; Sackmann, E

    2000-01-01

    We used micropipettes to aspirate leading and trailing edges of wild-type and mutant cells of Dictyostelium discoideum. Mutants were lacking either myosin II or talin, or both proteins simultaneously. Talin is a plasma membrane-associated protein important for the coupling between membrane and actin cortex, whereas myosin II is a cytoplasmic motor protein essential for the locomotion of Dictyostelium cells. Aspiration into the pipette occurred above a threshold pressure only. For all cells containing talin this threshold was significantly lower at the leading edge of an advancing cell as compared to its rear end, whereas we found no such difference in cells lacking talin. Wild-type and talin-deficient cells were able to retract from the pipette against an applied suction pressure. In these cells, retraction was preceded by an accumulation of myosin II in the tip of the aspirated cell lobe. Mutants lacking myosin II could not retract, even if the suction pressures were removed after aspiration. We interpreted the initial instability and the subsequent plastic deformation of the cell surface during aspiration in terms of a fracture between the cell plasma membrane and the cell body, which may involve destruction of part of the cortex. Models are presented that characterize the coupling strength between membrane and cell body by a surface energy sigma. We find sigma approximately 0.6(1.6) mJ/m(2) at the leading (trailing) edge of wild-type cells. PMID:10920005

  19. Gene discovery by chemical mutagenesis and whole-genome sequencing in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cheng-Lin Frank; Santhanam, Balaji; Webb, Amanda Nicole; Zupan, Blaž

    2016-01-01

    Whole-genome sequencing is a useful approach for identification of chemical-induced lesions, but previous applications involved tedious genetic mapping to pinpoint the causative mutations. We propose that saturation mutagenesis under low mutagenic loads, followed by whole-genome sequencing, should allow direct implication of genes by identifying multiple independent alleles of each relevant gene. We tested the hypothesis by performing three genetic screens with chemical mutagenesis in the social soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Through genome sequencing, we successfully identified mutant genes with multiple alleles in near-saturation screens, including resistance to intense illumination and strong suppressors of defects in an allorecognition pathway. We tested the causality of the mutations by comparison to published data and by direct complementation tests, finding both dominant and recessive causative mutations. Therefore, our strategy provides a cost- and time-efficient approach to gene discovery by integrating chemical mutagenesis and whole-genome sequencing. The method should be applicable to many microbial systems, and it is expected to revolutionize the field of functional genomics in Dictyostelium by greatly expanding the mutation spectrum relative to other common mutagenesis methods. PMID:27307293

  20. Expression of a myosin regulatory light chain phosphorylation site mutant complements the cytokinesis and developmental defects of Dictyostelium RMLC null cells.

    PubMed

    Ostrow, B D; Chen, P; Chisholm, R L

    1994-12-01

    In a number of systems phosphorylation of the regulatory light chain (RMLC) of myosin regulates the activity of myosin. In smooth muscle and vertebrate nonmuscle systems RMLC phosphorylation is required for contractile activity. In Dictyostelium discoideum phosphorylation of the RMLC regulates both ATPase activity and motor function. We have determined the site of phosphorylation on the Dictyostelium RMLC and used site-directed mutagenesis to replace the phosphorylated serine with an alanine. The mutant light chain was then expressed in RMLC null Dictyostelium cells (mLCR-) from an actin promoter on an integrating vector. The mutant RMLC was expressed at high levels and associated with the myosin heavy chain. RMLC bearing a ser13ala substitution was not phosphorylated in vitro by purified myosin light chain kinase, nor could phosphate be detected on the mutant RMLC in vivo. The mutant myosin had reduced actin-activated ATPase activity, comparable to fully dephosphorylated myosin. Unexpectedly, expression of the mutant RMLC rescued the primary phenotypic defects of the mlcR- cells to the same extent as did expression of wild-type RMLC. These results suggest that while phosphorylation of the Dictyostelium RMLC appears to be tightly regulated in vivo, it is not essential for myosin-dependent cellular functions.

  1. Balanced cortical stiffness is important for efficient migration of Dictyostelium cells in confined environments.

    PubMed

    Roth, Heike; Samereier, Matthias; Trommler, Gudrun; Noegel, Angelika A; Schleicher, Michael; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette

    2015-11-27

    Dictyostelium discoideum cells resemble in many aspects human leukocytes and serve as a model to study actin cytoskeleton dynamics and cell migration of highly motile cells. Dictyostelium cells deficient in the actin-binding protein filamin (ddFLN) showed a surprisingly subtle change in phenotype with no or only minor effects in single cell motility. These findings were in contrast to the strong actin-crosslinking activities measured for filamin in vitro. In the present study, we set out to revisit the role of ddFLN in cell migration. For this purpose, we examined migration of wild-type, ddFLN-null and ddFLN-overexpressing cells under different conditions. In addition to cyclic-AMP chemotaxis assays using micropipettes, we explored cell migration under more confined conditions: an under-agarose 2D assay and a 3D assay employing a collagen matrix that was adapted from assays for leukocytes. Using 3D migration conditions, cells deficient in ddFLN displayed only a minor impairment of motility, similar to the results obtained for migration in 2D. However, cells overexpressing ddFLN showed a remarkable decrease in the speed of migration in particular in 3D environments. We suggest that these results are in line with an increased stiffening of the cortex due to the crosslinking activity of overexpressed ddFLN. Our conclusion is that the absolute level of ddFLN is critical for efficient migration. Furthermore, our results show that under conditions of increased mechanical stress, Dictyostelium cells, like leukocytes, switch to a bleb-based mode of movement.

  2. RasG signaling is important for optimal folate chemotaxis in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Signaling pathways linking receptor activation to actin reorganization and pseudopod dynamics during chemotaxis are arranged in complex networks. Dictyostelium discoideum has proven to be an excellent model system for studying these networks and a body of evidence has indicated that RasG and RasC, members of the Ras GTPase subfamily function as key chemotaxis regulators. However, recent evidence has been presented indicating that Ras signaling is not important for Dictyostelium chemotaxis. In this study, we have reexamined the role of Ras proteins in folate chemotaxis and then, having re-established the importance of Ras for this process, identified the parts of the RasG protein molecule that are involved. Results A direct comparison of folate chemotaxis methodologies revealed that rasG-C- cells grown in association with a bacterial food source were capable of positive chemotaxis, only when their initial position was comparatively close to the folate source. In contrast, cells grown in axenic medium orientate randomly regardless of their distance to the micropipette. Folate chemotaxis is restored in rasG-C- cells by exogenous expression of protein chimeras containing either N- or C- terminal halves of the RasG protein. Conclusions Conflicting data regarding the importance of Ras to Dictyostelium chemotaxis were the result of differing experimental methodologies. Both axenic and bacterially grown cells require RasG for optimal folate chemotaxis, particularly in weak gradients. In strong gradients, the requirement for RasG is relaxed, but only in bacterially grown cells. Both N- and C- terminal portions of the RasG protein are important for folate chemotaxis, suggesting that there are functionally important amino acids outside the well established switch I and switch II interaction surfaces. PMID:24742374

  3. Controlling Collective Behaviors of Dictyostelium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, David; Mehta, Pankaj; Gregor, Thomas

    2010-03-01

    We study the collective dynamics of a population of Dictyostelium cells, focusing on how single cell dynamics influence, and give rise to, the behavior of the aggregate. Through analysis of quantitative single cell experiments, we develop a simple model of the single cell response to time-dependent pulses of the extracellular signaling molecule cAMP, characterized by a particular type of excitable system. We then use this model to study collective multicellular dynamics mediated by diffusion coupling. We first consider the mean-field case where we find an intriguing ``dynamical quorum sensing'' transition in which all cells simultaneously transition from quiescent to oscillating across the phase boundary. Then we include spatial dynamics and study pattern formation, both with and without the cells capable of chemotactic response to signal gradients. Finally, we highlight how modification of single cells can alter the collective dynamics.

  4. BTG interacts with retinoblastoma to control cell fate in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Conte, Daniele; MacWilliams, Harry K; Ceccarelli, Adriano

    2010-03-12

    In the genesis of many tissues, a phase of cell proliferation is followed by cell cycle exit and terminal differentiation. The latter two processes overlap: genes involved in the cessation of growth may also be important in triggering differentiation. Though conceptually distinct, they are often causally related and functional interactions between the cell cycle machinery and cell fate control networks are fundamental to coordinate growth and differentiation. A switch from proliferation to differentiation may also be important in the life cycle of single-celled organisms, and genes which arose as regulators of microbial differentiation may be conserved in higher organisms. Studies in microorganisms may thus contribute to understanding the molecular links between cell cycle machinery and the determination of cell fate choice networks. Here we show that in the amoebozoan D. discoideum, an ortholog of the metazoan antiproliferative gene btg controls cell fate, and that this function is dependent on the presence of a second tumor suppressor ortholog, the retinoblastoma-like gene product. Specifically, we find that btg-overexpressing cells preferentially adopt a stalk cell (and, more particularly, an Anterior-Like Cell) fate. No btg-dependent preference for ALC fate is observed in cells in which the retinoblastoma-like gene has been genetically inactivated. Dictyostelium btg is the only example of non-metazoan member of the BTG family characterized so far, suggesting that a genetic interaction between btg and Rb predated the divergence between dictyostelids and metazoa. While the requirement for retinoblastoma function for BTG antiproliferative activity in metazoans is known, an interaction of these genes in the control of cell fate has not been previously documented. Involvement of a single pathway in the control of mutually exclusive processes may have relevant implication in the evolution of multicellularity.

  5. Actin Foci Adhesion of D. discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanders, Bret; Paneru, Govind

    2014-03-01

    Amoeboid migration is a fast (10 μm min-1) integrin-independent mode of migration that is important with D. discoideum, leukocytes, and breast cancer cells. It is poorly understood, but depends on the establishment of adhesive contacts to the substrate where the cell transmits traction forces. In pre-aggregative D. discoideum, a model system for learning about amoeboid migration, these adhesive contacts are discrete complexes that are known as actin-foci. They have an area of ~ 0.5 μm2 and a lifetime of ~ 20 s. This talk will present measurements of the adhesive character of actin foci that have been obtained using a submicron force transducer that was designed for this purpose. Results on the rupture stresses and lifetimes of individual acting foci under nano-newton level forces will be described in the context of a general theory for cellular adhesion. This theory depends on, essentially, three cellular properties: the membrane-medium surface tension, the number density of adhesion receptors in the membrane, and the receptor-substrate potential energy surface. Therefore, the use of the transducer to determine the surface tension will be presented, as well.

  6. Adhesion of D. discoideum on Hydrophobic Substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanders, Bret; Ploscariu, Nicoleta

    2015-03-01

    Adhesion by amoeboid cells, such as D. discoideum, is poorly understood but critical for other behaviors such as phagocytosis and migration. Furthermore, both leucocytes and breast cancer cells employ the amoeboid mode of movement at various points in their life-cycles. Hence, improved knowledge of amoeboid adhesion may lead to be new strategies for controlling other important cellular processes. This study regards adhesion by D. discoideum on silanized glass substrates. Reflection interference contrast microscopy is used in conjunction with other methods to determine the contact angle, cell-medium interfacial energy, and adhesion energy of these cells. The contact angle of individual cells settling under gravity onto a substrate is observed to increase as the size of the contact patch increases. This behavior occurs on slower time-scales than expected for the settling of inert vesicles. The implications of this observation on the nature of the underlying forces will be discussed. This work was supported in part by NSF Grant PHY-646966.

  7. Pattern formation of Dictystelium discoideum in the presence of laminar flow and cAMP pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholami, Azam; Steinbock, Oliver; Zykov, Vladimir; Bodenschatz, Eberhard

    2014-03-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum (D.d) amobae undergo starvation-induced multicellular development in which single cells aggregate chemotactically towards cAMP signals emitted periodically from an aggregation center. We are investigating spatiotemporal pattern formation of D.d. cells under the presence of a laminar flow. Starved cells are loaded into a straight millifluidic device with an external flow and cell response to the signaling molecule cAMP is monitored indirectly using dark-field microscopy. The observed contraction waves develop simultaneously over the entire channel, are propagating only in flow direction, and have curved wave fronts resembling the parabolic flow profile. The wave dynamics analysis shows that the wave velocity is locked to the flow velocity and yields a wave period of T0 6 min, which matches the typical oscillation period of extracellular cAMP in spatial homogeneous, well-stirred systems. We apply a small cAMP perturbation at the inlet region of the channel and observe the spatiotemporal response of the cells as the pulse is propagating down the channel. The results show that D.d. cells are in the oscillatory regime and the system can be forced within resonance tongue. We compared our results with analytical and numerical analysis of Goldbeter model.

  8. An unusual protein kinase phosphorylates the chemotactic receptor of Dictystelium discoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, K.; Klein, C. )

    1988-04-01

    The authors report the cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of the chemotactic receptor of Dictyostelium discoideum in partially purified plasma membranes. The protein kinase responsible for receptor phosphorylation is associated with this fraction and preferentially phosphorylates the ligand-occupied form of the receptor. 8-Azido({sup 32}P)cAMP labeling of the cell surface has shown that the cAMP receptor exists in two forms. A 45-kDa protein is predominant on unstimulated cells. cAMP stimulation results in an increased receptor phosphorylation such that the receptor migrates on NaDodSO{sub 4}/PAGE as a 47-kDa protein. Phosphorylation of the chemotactic receptor is not detected in membrane preparations unless cAMP is added to the incubation mixture. Only under those conditions is the phosphorylated 47-kDa form observed. The requirement for cAMP reflects the fact that the kinase involved preferentially uses the ligand-occupied receptor as a substrate. In vitro phosphorylation of the receptor does not involve tyrosine residues. The enzyme does not appear to be a cAMP- or cGMP-dependent protein kinase nor is it sensitive to guanine nucleotides, Ca{sup 2+}/calmodulin, Ca{sup 2+}/phospholipid, or EGTA. Similarities with the {beta}-adrenergic receptor protein kinase are discussed.

  9. A new spore differentiation factor (SDF) secreted by Dictyostelium cells is phosphorylated by the cAMP dependent protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Anjard, C; van Bemmelen, M; Véron, M; Reymond, C D

    1997-10-01

    Upon starvation, Dictyostelium discoideum unicellular amoebae form a multicellular organism leading to the development of a fruiting body containing spores. Single cells of sporogenous mutants, unlike wild type cells, are able to differentiate into spores under specific conditions. We show in this report that overexpression of the catalytic subunit of the cAMP dependent protein kinase (PKA), not only renders the cells sporogenous, but is also accompanied by the production/release of a diffusible spore differentiation factor (SDF). SDF is a small, thermostable phospho-polypeptide. In vitro dephosphorylation reduces SDF spore differentiation capacity, which can be regained in vitro by PKA phosphorylation. These results indicate that SDF is a PKA substrate and might be activated in vivo by this protein kinase. Since spore differentiation requires PKA catalytic subunit activation, we conclude that the response of prespore cells to SDF involves an intracellular pathway dependent on PKA.

  10. Desynchronization of Cells on the Developmental Path Triggers the Formation of Spiral Waves of cAMP during Dictyostelium Aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauzeral, Jacques; Halloy, Jose; Goldbeter, Albert

    1997-08-01

    Whereas it is relatively easy to account for the formation of concentric (target) waves of cAMP in the course of Dictyostelium discoideum aggregation after starvation, the origin of spiral waves remains obscure. We investigate a physiologically plausible mechanism for the spontaneous formation of spiral waves of cAMP in D. discoideum. The scenario relies on the developmental path associated with the continuous changes in the activity of enzymes such as adenylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase observed during the hours that follow starvation. These changes bring the cells successively from a nonexcitable state to an excitable state in which they relay suprathreshold cAMP pulses, and then to autonomous oscillations of cAMP, before the system returns to an excitable state. By analyzing a model for cAMP signaling based on receptor desensitization, we show that the desynchronization of cells on this developmental path triggers the formation of fully developed spirals of cAMP. Developmental paths that do not correspond to the sequence of dynamic transitions no relay-relay-oscillations-relay are less able or fail to give rise to the formation of spirals.

  11. Identification of a Suppressor of the Dictyostelium Profilin-minus Phenotype as a CD36/LIMP-II Homologue

    PubMed Central

    Karakesisoglou, Iakowos; Janssen, Klaus-Peter; Eichinger, Ludwig; Noegel, Angelika A.; Schleicher, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Profilin is an ubiquitous G-actin binding protein in eukaryotic cells. Lack of both profilin isoforms in Dictyostelium discoideum resulted in impaired cytokinesis and an arrest in development. A restriction enzyme–mediated integration approach was applied to profilin-minus cells to identify suppressor mutants for the developmental phenotype. A mutant with wild-type–like development and restored cytokinesis was isolated. The gene affected was found to code for an integral membrane glycoprotein of a predicted size of 88 kD containing two transmembrane domains, one at the NH2 terminus and the other at the COOH terminus. It is homologous to mammalian CD36/LIMP-II and represents the first member of this family in D. discoideum, therefore the name DdLIMP is proposed. Targeted disruption of the lmpA gene in the profilin-minus background also rescued the mutant phenotype. Immunofluorescence revealed a localization in vesicles and ringlike structures on the cell surface. Partially purified DdLIMP bound specifically to PIP2 in sedimentation and gel filtration assays. A direct interaction between DdLIMP and profilin could not be detected, and it is unclear how far upstream in a regulatory cascade DdLIMP might be positioned. However, the PIP2 binding of DdLIMP points towards a function via the phosphatidylinositol pathway, a major regulator of profilin. PMID:10189376

  12. A Dictyostelium mutant lacking an F-actin cross-linking protein, the 120-kD gelation factor

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    Actin-binding proteins are known to regulate in vitro the assembly of actin into supramolecular structures, but evidence for their activities in living nonmuscle cells is scarce. Amebae of Dictyostelium discoideum are nonmuscle cells in which mutants defective in several actin-binding proteins have been described. Here we characterize a mutant deficient in the 120-kD gelation factor, one of the most abundant F-actin cross- linking proteins of D. discoideum cells. No F-actin cross-linking activity attributable to the 120-kD protein was detected in mutant cell extracts, and antibodies recognizing different epitopes on the polypeptide showed the entire protein was lacking. Under the conditions used, elimination of the gelation factor did not substantially alter growth, shape, motility, or chemotactic orientation of the cells towards a cAMP source. Aggregates of the mutant developed into fruiting bodies consisting of normally differentiated spores and stalk cells. In cytoskeleton preparations a dense network of actin filaments as typical of the cell cortex, and bundles as they extend along the axis of filopods, were recognized. A significant alteration found was an enhanced accumulation of actin in cytoskeletons of the mutant when cells were stimulated with cyclic AMP. Our results indicate that control of cell shape and motility does not require the fine-tuned interactions of all proteins that have been identified as actin-binding proteins by in vitro assays. PMID:1698791

  13. TipC and the chorea-acanthocytosis protein VPS13A regulate autophagy in Dictyostelium and human HeLa cells.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Braceras, Sandra; Calvo, Rosa; Escalante, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Deficient autophagy causes a distinct phenotype in Dictyostelium discoideum, characterized by the formation of multitips at the mound stage. This led us to analyze autophagy in a number of multitipped mutants described previously (tipA(-), tipB(-), tipC(-), and tipD(-)). We found a clear autophagic dysfunction in tipC(-) and tipD(-) while the others showed no defects. tipD codes for a homolog of Atg16, which confirms the role of this protein in Dictyostelium autophagy and validates our approach. The tipC-encoded protein is highly similar to human VPS13A (also known as chorein), whose mutations cause the chorea-acanthocytosis syndrome. No member of the VPS13 protein family has been previously related to autophagy despite the presence of a region of similarity to Atg2 at the C terminus. This region also contains the conserved domain of unknown function DUF1162. Of interest, the expression of the TipC C-terminal coding sequence containing these 2 motifs largely complemented the mutant phenotype. Dictyostelium cells lacking TipC displayed a reduced number of autophagosomes visualized with the markers GFP-Atg18 and GFP-Atg8 and an impaired autophagic degradation as determined by a proteolytic cleavage assay. Downregulation of human VPS13A in HeLa cells by RNA interference confirmed the participation of the human protein in autophagy. VPS13A-depleted cells showed accumulation of autophagic markers and impaired autophagic flux.

  14. Identifying an uptake mechanism for the antiepileptic and bipolar disorder treatment valproic acid using the simple biomedical model Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Terbach, Nicole; Shah, Rishita; Kelemen, Rachel; Klein, Peter S.; Gordienko, Dmitri; Brown, Nigel A.; Wilkinson, Christopher J.; Williams, Robin S. B.

    2011-01-01

    Valproic acid (VPA) is the most highly prescribed epilepsy treatment worldwide and is also used to prevent bipolar disorder and migraine. Surprisingly, very little is known about its mechanisms of cellular uptake. Here, we employ a range of cellular, molecular and genetic approaches to characterize VPA uptake using a simple biomedical model, Dictyostelium discoideum. We show that VPA is taken up against an electrochemical gradient in a dose-dependent manner. Transport is protein-mediated, dependent on pH and the proton gradient and shows strong substrate structure specificity. Using a genetic screen, we identified a protein homologous to a mammalian solute carrier family 4 (SLC4) bicarbonate transporter that we show is involved in VPA uptake. Pharmacological and genetic ablation of this protein reduces the uptake of VPA and partially protects against VPA-dependent developmental effects, and extracellular bicarbonate competes for VPA uptake in Dictyostelium. We further show that this uptake mechanism is likely to be conserved in both zebrafish (Danio rerio) and Xenopus laevis model systems. These results implicate, for the first time, an uptake mechanism for VPA through SLC4-catalysed activity. PMID:21652627

  15. ACAP-A/B are ArfGAP homologs in dictyostelium involved in sporulation but not in chemotaxis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Pei-Wen; Randazzo, Paul A; Parent, Carole A

    2010-01-07

    Arfs and Arf GTPase-activating proteins (ArfGAPs) are regulators of membrane trafficking and actin dynamics in mammalian cells. In this study, we identified a primordial Arf, ArfA, and two ArfGAPs (ACAP-A/B) containing BAR, PH, ArfGAP and Ankyrin repeat domains in the eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum. In vitro, ArfA has similar nucleotide binding properties as mammalian Arfs and, with GTP bound, is a substrate for ACAP-A and B. We also investigated the physiological functions of ACAP-A/B by characterizing cells lacking both ACAP-A and B. Although ACAP-A/B knockout cells showed no defects in cell growth, migration or chemotaxis, they exhibited abnormal actin protrusions and approximately 50% reduction in spore yield. We conclude that while ACAP-A/B have a conserved biochemical mechanism and effect on actin organization, their role in migration is not conserved. The absence of an effect on Dictyostelium migration may be due to a specific requirement for ACAPs in mesenchymal migration, which is observed in epithelial cancer cells where most studies of mammalian ArfGAPs were performed.

  16. Dictyostelium Nramp1, which is structurally and functionally similar to mammalian DMT1 transporter, mediates phagosomal iron efflux.

    PubMed

    Buracco, Simona; Peracino, Barbara; Cinquetti, Raffaella; Signoretto, Elena; Vollero, Alessandra; Imperiali, Francesca; Castagna, Michela; Bossi, Elena; Bozzaro, Salvatore

    2015-09-01

    The Nramp (Slc11) protein family is widespread in bacteria and eukaryotes, and mediates transport of divalent metals across cellular membranes. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has two Nramp proteins. Nramp1, like its mammalian ortholog (SLC11A1), is recruited to phagosomal and macropinosomal membranes, and confers resistance to pathogenic bacteria. Nramp2 is located exclusively in the contractile vacuole membrane and controls, synergistically with Nramp1, iron homeostasis. It has long been debated whether mammalian Nramp1 mediates iron import or export from phagosomes. By selectively loading the iron-chelating fluorochrome calcein in macropinosomes, we show that Dictyostelium Nramp1 mediates iron efflux from macropinosomes in vivo. To gain insight in ion selectivity and the transport mechanism, the proteins were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Using a novel assay with calcein, and electrophysiological and radiochemical assays, we show that Nramp1, similar to rat DMT1 (also known as SLC11A2), transports Fe(2+) and manganese, not Fe(3+) or copper. Metal ion transport is electrogenic and proton dependent. By contrast, Nramp2 transports only Fe(2+) in a non-electrogenic and proton-independent way. These differences reflect evolutionary divergence of the prototypical Nramp2 protein sequence compared to the archetypical Nramp1 and DMT1 proteins.

  17. Dual chemotaxis signalling regulates Dictyostelium development: intercellular cyclic AMP pulses and intracellular F-actin disassembly waves induce each other.

    PubMed

    Vicker, Michael G; Grutsch, James F

    2008-10-01

    Aggregating Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae periodically emit and relay cAMP, which regulates their chemotaxis and morphogenesis into a multicellular, differentiated organism. Cyclic AMP also stimulates F-actin assembly and chemotactic pseudopodium extension. We used actin-GFP expression to visualise for the first time intracellular F-actin assembly as a spatio-temporal indicator of cell reactions to cAMP, and thus the kinematics of cell communication, in aggregating streams. Every natural cAMP signal pulse induces an autowave of F-actin disassembly, which propagates from each cell's leading end to its trailing end at a linear rate, much slower than the calculated and measured velocities of cAMP diffusion in aggregating Dictyostelium. A sequence of transient reactions follows behind the wave, including anterior F-actin assembly, chemotactic pseudopodium extension and cell advance at the cell front and, at the back, F-actin assembly, extension of a small retrograde pseudopodium (forcing a brief cell retreat) and chemotactic stimulation of the following cell, yielding a 20s cAMP relay delay. These dynamics indicate that stream cell behaviour is mediated by a dual signalling system: a short-range cAMP pulse directed from one cell tail to an immediately following cell front and a slower, long-range wave of intracellular F-actin disassembly, each inducing the other.

  18. Reaction-diffusion waves of actin filament polymerization/depolymerization in Dictyostelium pseudopodium extension and cell locomotion.

    PubMed

    Vicker, M G

    2000-04-14

    Cell surface movements and the intracellular spatial patterns and dynamics of actin filament (F-actin) were investigated in living and formalin-fixed cells of Dictyostelium discoideum by confocal microscopy. Excitation waves of F-actin assembly developed and propagated several micrometers at up to 26 microm/min in cells which had been intracellularly loaded with fluorescently labeled actin monomer. Wave propagation and extinction corresponded with the initiation and attenuation of pseudopodium extension and cell advance, respectively. The identification of chemical waves was supported by the ring, sphere, spiral and scroll wave patterns, which were observed in the extensions of fixed cells stained with phalloidin-rhodamine, and by the similar, asymmetrical [F-actin] distribution in wavefronts in living and fixed cells. These F-actin patterns and dynamics in Dictyostelium provide evidence for a new supramolecular state of actin, which propagates as a self-organized, reaction-diffusion wave of reversible F-actin assembly and affects pseudopodium extension. Actin's properties of oscillation and self-organization might also fundamentally determine the nature of the eukaryotic cell's reactions of adaptation, timing and signal response.

  19. Mycobacterium marinum Degrades Both Triacylglycerols and Phospholipids from Its Dictyostelium Host to Synthesise Its Own Triacylglycerols and Generate Lipid Inclusions

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    During a tuberculosis infection and inside lipid-laden foamy macrophages, fatty acids (FAs) and sterols are the major energy and carbon source for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mycobacteria can be found both inside a vacuole and the cytosol, but how this impacts their access to lipids is not well appreciated. Lipid droplets (LDs) store FAs in form of triacylglycerols (TAGs) and are energy reservoirs of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Using the Dictyostelium discoideum/Mycobacterium marinum infection model we showed that M. marinum accesses host LDs to build up its own intracytosolic lipid inclusions (ILIs). Here, we show that host LDs aggregate at regions of the bacteria that become exposed to the cytosol, and appear to coalesce on their hydrophobic surface leading to a transfer of diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 2 (Dgat2)-GFP onto the bacteria. Dictyostelium knockout mutants for both Dgat enzymes are unable to generate LDs. Instead, the excess of exogenous FAs is esterified predominantly into phospholipids, inducing uncontrolled proliferation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Strikingly, in absence of host LDs, M. marinum alternatively exploits these phospholipids, resulting in rapid reversal of ER-proliferation. In addition, the bacteria are unable to restrict their acquisition of lipids from the dgat1&2 double knockout leading to vast accumulation of ILIs. Recent data indicate that the presence of ILIs is one of the characteristics of dormant mycobacteria. During Dictyostelium infection, ILI formation in M. marinum is not accompanied by a significant change in intracellular growth and a reduction in metabolic activity, thus providing evidence that storage of neutral lipids does not necessarily induce dormancy. PMID:28103313

  20. Mycobacterium marinum Degrades Both Triacylglycerols and Phospholipids from Its Dictyostelium Host to Synthesise Its Own Triacylglycerols and Generate Lipid Inclusions.

    PubMed

    Barisch, Caroline; Soldati, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    During a tuberculosis infection and inside lipid-laden foamy macrophages, fatty acids (FAs) and sterols are the major energy and carbon source for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mycobacteria can be found both inside a vacuole and the cytosol, but how this impacts their access to lipids is not well appreciated. Lipid droplets (LDs) store FAs in form of triacylglycerols (TAGs) and are energy reservoirs of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Using the Dictyostelium discoideum/Mycobacterium marinum infection model we showed that M. marinum accesses host LDs to build up its own intracytosolic lipid inclusions (ILIs). Here, we show that host LDs aggregate at regions of the bacteria that become exposed to the cytosol, and appear to coalesce on their hydrophobic surface leading to a transfer of diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 2 (Dgat2)-GFP onto the bacteria. Dictyostelium knockout mutants for both Dgat enzymes are unable to generate LDs. Instead, the excess of exogenous FAs is esterified predominantly into phospholipids, inducing uncontrolled proliferation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Strikingly, in absence of host LDs, M. marinum alternatively exploits these phospholipids, resulting in rapid reversal of ER-proliferation. In addition, the bacteria are unable to restrict their acquisition of lipids from the dgat1&2 double knockout leading to vast accumulation of ILIs. Recent data indicate that the presence of ILIs is one of the characteristics of dormant mycobacteria. During Dictyostelium infection, ILI formation in M. marinum is not accompanied by a significant change in intracellular growth and a reduction in metabolic activity, thus providing evidence that storage of neutral lipids does not necessarily induce dormancy.

  1. Identification of calmodulin and MlcC as light chains for Dictyostelium myosin-I isozymes.

    PubMed

    Crawley, Scott W; Liburd, Janine; Shaw, Kristopher; Jung, Yoojin; Smith, Steven P; Côté, Graham P

    2011-08-02

    Dictyostelium discoideum express seven single-headed myosin-I isozymes (MyoA-MyoE and MyoK) that drive motile processes at the cell membrane. The light chains for MyoA and MyoE were identified by expressing Flag-tagged constructs consisting of the motor domain and the two IQ motifs in the neck region in Dictyostelium. The MyoA and MyoE constructs both copurified with calmodulin. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) showed that apo-calmodulin bound to peptides corresponding to the MyoA and MyoE IQ motifs with micromolar affinity. In the presence of calcium, calmodulin cross-linked two IQ motif peptides, with one domain binding with nanomolar affinity and the other with micromolar affinity. The IQ motifs were required for the actin-activated MgATPase activity of MyoA but not MyoE; however, neither myosin exhibited calcium-dependent activity. A Flag-tagged construct consisting of the MyoC motor domain and the three IQ motifs in the adjacent neck region bound a novel 8.6 kDa two EF-hand protein named MlcC, for myosin light chain for MyoC. MlcC is most similar to the C-terminal domain of calmodulin but does not bind calcium. ITC studies showed that MlcC binds IQ1 and IQ2 but not IQ3 of MyoC. IQ3 contains a proline residue that may render it nonfunctional. Each long-tailed Dictyostelium myosin-I has now been shown to have a unique light chain (MyoB-MlcB, MyoC-MlcC, and MyoD-MlcD), whereas the short-tailed myosins-I, MyoA and MyoE, have the multifunctional calmodulin as a light chain. The diversity in light chain composition is likely to contribute to the distinct cellular functions of each myosin-I isozyme.

  2. The Dictyostelium class I myosin, MyoD, contains a novel light chain that lacks high-affinity calcium-binding sites.

    PubMed Central

    De La Roche, Marc A; Lee, Sheu-Fen; Côté, Graham P

    2003-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum MyoD, a long-tailed class I myosin, co-purified with two copies of a 16 kDa light chain. Sequence analysis of the MyoD light chain showed it to be a unique protein, termed MlcD, that shares 44% sequence identity with Dictyostelium calmodulin and 43% sequence identity with Acanthamoeba castellanii myosin IC light chain. MlcD comprises four EF-hands; however, EF-hands 2-4 contain mutations in key Ca2+-co-ordinating residues that would be predicted to impair Ca2+ binding. Electrospray ionization MS of MlcD in the presence of Ca2+ and La3+ showed the presence of one major and one minor metal-binding site. MlcD contains a single tryptophan residue (Trp39), the fluorescence intensity of which was quenched upon addition of Ca2+ or Mg2+, yielding apparent dissociation constants ( K'(d)) of 52 microM for Ca2+ and 450 microM for Mg2+. The low affinity of MlcD for Ca2+ indicates that it cannot function as a sensor of physiological Ca2+. Ca2+ did not affect the binding of MlcD to MyoD or to either of the two MyoD IQ (Ile-Gln) motifs. FLAG-MlcD expressed in Dictyostelium formed a complex with MyoD, but not with the two other long-tailed Dictyostelium myosin I isoenzymes, MyoB and MyoC. Through its specific association with the Ca2+-insensitive MlcD, MyoD may exhibit distinct regulatory properties that distinguish it from myosin I isoenzymes with calmodulin light chains. PMID:12826013

  3. Evidence for nucleolar subcompartments in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Catalano, Andrew; O'Day, Danton H

    2015-01-24

    The nucleolus is a multifunctional nuclear compartment usually consisting of two to three subcompartments which represent stages of ribosomal biogenesis. It is linked to several human diseases including viral infections, cancer, and neurodegeneration. Dictyostelium is a model eukaryote for the study of fundamental biological processes as well as several human diseases however comparatively little is known about its nucleolus. Unlike most nucleoli it does not possess visible subcompartments at the ultrastructural level. Several recently identified nucleolar proteins in Dictyostelium leave the nucleolus after treatment with the rDNA transcription inhibitor actinomycin-D (AM-D). Different proteins exit in different ways, suggesting that previously unidentified nucleolar subcompartments may exist. The identification of nucleolar subcompartments would help to better understand the nucleolus in this model eukaryote. Here, we show that Dictyostelium nucleolar proteins nucleomorphin isoform NumA1 and Bud31 localize throughout the entire nucleolus while calcium-binding protein 4a localizes to only a portion, representing nucleolar subcompartment 1 (NoSC1). SWI/SNF complex member Snf12 localizes to a smaller area within NoSC1 representing a second nucleolar subcompartment, NoSC2. The nuclear/nucleolar localization signal KRKR from Snf12 localized GFP to NoSC2, and thus also appears to function as a nucleolar subcompartment localization signal. FhkA localizes to the nucleolar periphery displaying a similar pattern to that of Hsp32. Similarities between the redistribution patterns of Dictyostelium nucleolar proteins during nucleolar disruption as a result of either AM-D treatment or mitosis support these subcompartments. A model for the AM-D-induced redistribution patterns is proposed.

  4. Molecular motors and membrane traffic in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Ma, S; Fey, P; Chisholm, R L

    2001-03-15

    Phagocytosis and membrane traffic in general are largely dependent on the cytoskeleton and their associated molecular motors. The myosin family of motors, especially the unconventional myosins, interact with the actin cortex to facilitate the internalization of external materials during the early steps of phagocytosis. Members of the kinesin and dynein motor families, which mediate transport along microtubules (MTs), facilitate the intracellular processing of the internalized materials and the movement of membrane. Recent studies indicate that some unconventional myosins are also involved in membrane transport, and that the MT- and actin-dependent transport systems might interact with each other. Studies in Dictyostelium have led to the discovery of many motors involved in critical steps of phagocytosis and membrane transport. With the ease of genetic and biochemical approaches, the established functional analysis to test phagocytosis and vesicle transport, and the effort of the Dictyostelium cDNA and Genome Projects, Dictyostelium will continue to be a superb model system to study phagocytosis in particular and cytoskeleton and motors in general.

  5. Dictyostelium myosin-IE is a fast molecular motor involved in phagocytosis.

    PubMed

    Dürrwang, Ulrike; Fujita-Becker, Setsuko; Erent, Muriel; Kull, F Jon; Tsiavaliaris, Georgios; Geeves, Michael A; Manstein, Dietmar J

    2006-02-01

    Class I myosins are single-headed motor proteins, implicated in various motile processes including organelle translocation, ion-channel gating, and cytoskeleton reorganization. Here we describe the cellular localization of myosin-IE and its role in the phagocytic uptake of solid particles and cells. A complete analysis of the kinetic and motor properties of Dictyostelium discoideum myosin-IE was achieved by the use of motor domain constructs with artificial lever arms. Class I myosins belonging to subclass IC like myosin-IE are thought to be tuned for tension maintenance or stress sensing. In contrast to this prediction, our results show myosin-IE to be a fast motor. Myosin-IE motor activity is regulated by myosin heavy chain phosphorylation, which increases the coupling efficiency between the actin and nucleotide binding sites tenfold and the motile activity more than fivefold. Changes in the level of free Mg(2+) ions, which are within the physiological range, are shown to modulate the motor activity of myosin-IE by inhibiting the release of adenosine diphosphate.

  6. Organization of microtubule assemblies in Dictyostelium syncytia depends on the microtubule crosslinker, Ase1.

    PubMed

    Tikhonenko, Irina; Irizarry, Karen; Khodjakov, Alexey; Koonce, Michael P

    2016-02-01

    It has long been known that the interphase microtubule (MT) array is a key cellular scaffold that provides structural support and directs organelle trafficking in eukaryotic cells. Although in animal cells, a combination of centrosome nucleating properties and polymer dynamics at the distal microtubule ends is generally sufficient to establish a radial, polar array of MTs, little is known about how effector proteins (motors and crosslinkers) are coordinated to produce the diversity of interphase MT array morphologies found in nature. This diversity is particularly important in multinucleated environments where multiple MT arrays must coexist and function. We initiate here a study to address the higher ordered coordination of multiple, independent MT arrays in a common cytoplasm. Deletion of a MT crosslinker of the MAP65/Ase1/PRC1 family disrupts the spatial integrity of multiple arrays in Dictyostelium discoideum, reducing the distance between centrosomes and increasing the intermingling of MTs with opposite polarity. This result, coupled with previous dynein disruptions suggest a robust mechanism by which interphase MT arrays can utilize motors and crosslinkers to sense their position and minimize overlap in a common cytoplasm.

  7. Activation of G-proteins by receptor-stimulated nucleoside diphosphate kinase in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed Central

    Bominaar, A A; Molijn, A C; Pestel, M; Veron, M; Van Haastert, P J

    1993-01-01

    Recently, interest in the enzyme nucleoside diphosphate kinase (EC2.7.4.6) has increased as a result of its possible involvement in cell proliferation and development. Since NDP kinase is one of the major sources of GTP in cells, it has been suggested that the effects of an altered NDP kinase activity on cellular processes might be the result of altered transmembrane signal transduction via guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins). In the cellular slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum, extracellular cAMP induces an increase of phospholipase C activity via a surface cAMP receptor and G-proteins. In this paper it is demonstrated that part of the cellular NDP kinase is associated with the membrane and stimulated by cell surface cAMP receptors. The GTP produced by the action of NDP kinase is capable of activating G-proteins as monitored by altered G-protein-receptor interaction and the activation of the effector enzyme phospholipase C. Furthermore, specific monoclonal antibodies inhibit the effect of NDP kinase on G-protein activation. These results suggest that receptor-stimulated NDP kinase contributes to the mediation of hormone action by producing GTP for the activation of GTP-binding proteins. Images PMID:8389692

  8. Dictyostelium mutants lacking the cytoskeletal protein coronin are defective in cytokinesis and cell motility

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    Coronin is an actin-binding protein in Dictyostelium discoideum that is enriched at the leading edge of the cells and in projections of the cell surface called crowns. The polypeptide sequence of coronin is distinguished by its similarities to the beta-subunits of trimeric G proteins (E. L. de Hostos, B. Bradtke, F. Lottspeich, R. Guggenheim, and G. Gerisch, 1991. EMBO (Eur. Mol. Biol. Organ.) J. 10:4097-4104). To elucidate the in vivo function of coronin, null mutants have been generated by gene replacement. The mutant cells lacking coronin grow and migrate more slowly than wild-type cells. When these cor- cells grow in liquid medium they become multinucleate, indicating a role of coronin in cytokinesis. To explore this role, coronin has been localized in mitotic wild-type cells by immunofluorescence labeling. During separation of the daughter cells, coronin is strongly accumulated at their distal portions including the leading edges. This contrasts with the localization of myosin II in the cleavage furrow and suggests that coronin functions independently of the conventional myosin in facilitating cytokinesis. PMID:8380174

  9. Organization of microtubule assemblies in Dictyostelium syncytia depends on the microtubule crosslinker, Ase1

    PubMed Central

    Tikhonenko, Irina; Irizarry, Karen; Khodjakov, Alexey; Koonce, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    It has long been known that the interphase microtubule (MT) array is a key cellular scaffold that provides structural support and directs organelle trafficking in eukaryotic cells. Although in animal cells, a combination of centrosome nucleating properties and polymer dynamics at the distal microtubule ends is generally sufficient to establish a radial, polar array of MTs, little is known about how effector proteins (motors and crosslinkers) are coordinated to produce the diversity of interphase MT array morphologies found in nature. This diversity is particularly important in multinucleated environments where multiple MT arrays must coexist and function. We initiate here a study to address the higher ordered coordination of multiple, independent MT arrays in a common cytoplasm. Deletion of a MT crosslinker of the MAP65/Ase1/PRC1 family disrupts the spatial integrity of multiple arrays in Dictyostelium discoideum, reducing the distance between centrosomes and increasing the intermingling of MTs with opposite polarity. This result, coupled with previous dynein disruptions suggest a robust mechanism by which interphase MT arrays can utilize motors and crosslinkers to sense their position and minimize overlap in a common cytoplasm. PMID:26298292

  10. Inference of the drivers of collective movement in two cell types: Dictyostelium and melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Matthiopoulos, Jason; Husmeier, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    Collective cell movement is a key component of many important biological processes, including wound healing, the immune response and the spread of cancers. To understand and influence these movements, we need to be able to identify and quantify the contribution of their different underlying mechanisms. Here, we define a set of six candidate models—formulated as advection–diffusion–reaction partial differential equations—that incorporate a range of cell movement drivers. We fitted these models to movement assay data from two different cell types: Dictyostelium discoideum and human melanoma. Model comparison using widely applicable information criterion suggested that movement in both of our study systems was driven primarily by a self-generated gradient in the concentration of a depletable chemical in the cells' environment. For melanoma, there was also evidence that overcrowding influenced movement. These applications of model inference to determine the most likely drivers of cell movement indicate that such statistical techniques have potential to support targeted experimental work in increasing our understanding of collective cell movement in a range of systems. PMID:27798280

  11. A homologue of Cdk8 is required for spore cell differentiation in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hsiu-Hsu Sophia; Khosla, Meenal; Huang, Hao-Jen; Hsu, Duen-Wei; Michaelis, Christine; Weeks, Gerald; Pears, Catherine

    2004-07-01

    The Cdk8 proteins are kinases which phosphorylate the carboxy terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) as well as some transcription factors and, therefore, are involved in the regulation of transcription. Here, we report that a Cdk8 homologue from Dictyostelium discoideum is localized in the nucleus where it forms part of a high molecular weight complex that has CTD kinase activity. Insertional mutagenesis was used to abrogate gene function, and analysis of the null strain revealed that the DdCdk8 protein plays an important role in spore formation during late development. As previously reported [Dev. Growth Differ. 44 (2002) 213] Ddcdk8- cells also exhibit impaired aggregation, although we report that the severity of the defect depends upon experimental conditions. When aggregation occurs, Ddcdk8- cells form abnormal terminally differentiated structures within which the Ddcdk8- cells differentiate into stalk cells but fail to form spores, indicating a role for DdCdk8 in cell differentiation. When Ddcdk8 is expressed from its own promoter, the protein is able to rescue both the late developmental defect and the impaired aggregation. However, when expressed from an heterologous promoter, only the impaired aggregation is rescued. This result demonstrates that the defect during late development is not a consequence of impaired aggregation and indicates a direct role for DdCdk8 in spore formation.

  12. Role of SpdA in Cell Spreading and Phagocytosis in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Marco; Brochetta, Cristiana; Marchetti, Anna; Bodinier, Romain; Brückert, Franz; Cosson, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum is a widely used model to study molecular mechanisms controlling cell adhesion, cell spreading on a surface, and phagocytosis. In this study we isolated and characterize a new mutant created by insertion of a mutagenic vector in the heretofore uncharacterized spdA gene. SpdA-ins mutant cells produce an altered, slightly shortened version of the SpdA protein. They spread more efficiently than WT cells when allowed to adhere to a glass substrate, and phagocytose particles more efficiently. On the contrary, a functional spdA knockout mutant where a large segment of the gene was deleted phagocytosed less efficiently and spread less efficiently on a substrate. These phenotypes were highly dependent on the cellular density, and were most visible at high cell densities, where secreted quorum-sensing factors inhibiting cell motility, spreading and phagocytosis are most active. These results identify the involvement of SpdA in the control of cell spreading and phagocytosis. The underlying molecular mechanisms, as well as the exact link between SpdA and cell spreading, remain to be established. PMID:27512991

  13. The GATA transcription factor gene gtaG is required for terminal differentiation in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Katoh-Kurasawa, Mariko; Santhanam, Balaji; Shaulsky, Gad

    2016-03-09

    The GATA transcription factor GtaG is conserved in Dictyostelids and essential for terminal differentiation in Dictyostelium discoideum, but its function is not well understood. Here we show that gtaG is expressed in prestalk cells at the anterior region of fingers and in the extending stalk during culmination. The gtaG(-) phenotype is cell-autonomous in prestalk cells and non-cell-autonomous in prespore cells. Transcriptome analyses reveal that GtaG regulates prestalk gene expression during cell differentiation before culmination and is required for progression into culmination. GtaG-dependent genes include genetic suppressors of the Dd-STATa-defective phenotype as well as Dd-STATa target-genes, including extra cellular matrix genes. We show that GtaG may be involved in the production of two culmination-signaling molecules, cyclic di-GMP and the spore differentiation factor SDF-1 and that addition of c-di-GMP rescues the gtaG(-) culmination and spore formation deficiencies. We propose that GtaG is a regulator of terminal differentiation that functions in concert with Dd-STATa and controls culmination through regulating c-di-GMP and SDF-1 production in prestalk cells.

  14. Evidence for nucleolar subcompartments in Dictyostelium

    SciTech Connect

    Catalano, Andrew; O’Day, Danton H.

    2015-01-24

    Highlights: • Two nucleolar subcompartments (NoSC1, NoSC2) were found in Dictyostelium. • Specific nucleolar proteins localize to different nucleolar subcompartments. • Specific proteins exit NoSC1 and NoSC2 differently upon Actinomycin D treatment. • KRKR appears to function as an NoSC2 nucleolar subcompartment localization signal. - Abstract: The nucleolus is a multifunctional nuclear compartment usually consisting of two to three subcompartments which represent stages of ribosomal biogenesis. It is linked to several human diseases including viral infections, cancer, and neurodegeneration. Dictyostelium is a model eukaryote for the study of fundamental biological processes as well as several human diseases however comparatively little is known about its nucleolus. Unlike most nucleoli it does not possess visible subcompartments at the ultrastructural level. Several recently identified nucleolar proteins in Dictyostelium leave the nucleolus after treatment with the rDNA transcription inhibitor actinomycin-D (AM-D). Different proteins exit in different ways, suggesting that previously unidentified nucleolar subcompartments may exist. The identification of nucleolar subcompartments would help to better understand the nucleolus in this model eukaryote. Here, we show that Dictyostelium nucleolar proteins nucleomorphin isoform NumA1 and Bud31 localize throughout the entire nucleolus while calcium-binding protein 4a localizes to only a portion, representing nucleolar subcompartment 1 (NoSC1). SWI/SNF complex member Snf12 localizes to a smaller area within NoSC1 representing a second nucleolar subcompartment, NoSC2. The nuclear/nucleolar localization signal KRKR from Snf12 localized GFP to NoSC2, and thus also appears to function as a nucleolar subcompartment localization signal. FhkA localizes to the nucleolar periphery displaying a similar pattern to that of Hsp32. Similarities between the redistribution patterns of Dictyostelium nucleolar proteins during

  15. Random insertion of GFP into the cAMP-dependent protein kinase regulatory subunit from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed Central

    Biondi, R M; Baehler, P J; Reymond, C D; Véron, M

    1998-01-01

    The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is currently being used for diverse cellular biology approaches, mainly as a protein tag or to monitor gene expression. Recently it has been shown that GFP can also be used to monitor the activation of second messenger pathways by the use of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two different GFP mutants fused to a Ca2+sensor. We show here that GFP fusions can also be used to obtain information on regions essential for protein function. As FRET requires the two GFPs to be very close, N- or C-terminal fusion proteins will not generally produce FRET between two interacting proteins. In order to increase the probability of FRET, we decided to study the effect of random insertion of two GFP mutants into a protein of interest. We describe here a methodology for random insertion of GFP into the cAMP-dependent protein kinase regulatory subunit using a bacterial expression vector. The selection and analysis of 120 green fluorescent colonies revealed that the insertions were distributed throughout the R coding region. 14 R/GFP fusion proteins were partially purified and characterized for cAMP binding, fluorescence and ability to inhibit PKA catalytic activity. This study reveals that GFP insertion only moderately disturbed the overall folding of the protein or the proper folding of another domain of the protein, as tested by cAMP binding capacity. Furthermore, three R subunits out of 14, which harbour a GFP inserted in the cAMP binding site B, inhibit PKA catalytic subunit in a cAMP-dependent manner. Random insertion of GFP within the R subunit sets the path to develop two-component FRET with the C subunit. PMID:9776758

  16. Random insertion of GFP into the cAMP-dependent protein kinase regulatory subunit from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Biondi, R M; Baehler, P J; Reymond, C D; Véron, M

    1998-11-01

    The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is currently being used for diverse cellular biology approaches, mainly as a protein tag or to monitor gene expression. Recently it has been shown that GFP can also be used to monitor the activation of second messenger pathways by the use of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two different GFP mutants fused to a Ca2+sensor. We show here that GFP fusions can also be used to obtain information on regions essential for protein function. As FRET requires the two GFPs to be very close, N- or C-terminal fusion proteins will not generally produce FRET between two interacting proteins. In order to increase the probability of FRET, we decided to study the effect of random insertion of two GFP mutants into a protein of interest. We describe here a methodology for random insertion of GFP into the cAMP-dependent protein kinase regulatory subunit using a bacterial expression vector. The selection and analysis of 120 green fluorescent colonies revealed that the insertions were distributed throughout the R coding region. 14 R/GFP fusion proteins were partially purified and characterized for cAMP binding, fluorescence and ability to inhibit PKA catalytic activity. This study reveals that GFP insertion only moderately disturbed the overall folding of the protein or the proper folding of another domain of the protein, as tested by cAMP binding capacity. Furthermore, three R subunits out of 14, which harbour a GFP inserted in the cAMP binding site B, inhibit PKA catalytic subunit in a cAMP-dependent manner. Random insertion of GFP within the R subunit sets the path to develop two-component FRET with the C subunit.

  17. Lamellipodial localization of Dictyostelium myosin heavy chain kinase A is mediated via F-actin binding by the coiled-coil domain.

    PubMed

    Steimle, Paul A; Licate, Lucila; Côté, Graham P; Egelhoff, Thomas T

    2002-04-10

    Myosin heavy chain kinase A (MHCK A) modulates myosin II filament assembly in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. MHCK A localization in vivo is dynamically regulated during chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and other polarized cell motility events, with preferential recruitment into anterior filamentous actin (F-actin)-rich structures. The current work reveals that an amino-terminal segment of MHCK A, previously identified as forming a coiled-coil, mediates anterior localization. MHCK A co-sediments with F-actin, and deletion of the amino-terminal domain eliminated actin binding. These results indicate that the anterior localization of MHCK A is mediated via direct binding to F-actin, and reveal the presence of an actin-binding function not previously detected by primary sequence evaluation of the coiled-coil domain.

  18. Modeling actin waves in dictyostelium cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasnik, Vaibhav; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan

    2011-03-01

    Actin networks in living cells demonstrate a high capacity for self-organization and are responsible for the formation of a variety of structures such as lamellopodia, phagocytic cups, and cleavage furrows. Recent experiments have studied actin waves formed on the surface of dictyostelium cells that have been treated with a depolymerizing agent. These waves are believed to be physiologically important, for example, for the formation of phagocytic cups. We propose and study a minimal model, based on the dendritic nucleation of actin polymers, to explain the formation of these waves. This model can be extended to study the dynamics of the coupled actin-membrane system.

  19. Nse1 and Nse4, subunits of the Smc5-Smc6 complex, are involved in Dictyostelium development upon starvation.

    PubMed

    Taniura, Hideo; Tanabe, Naoya; Bando, Yumi; Arai, Natsumi

    2015-08-01

    The Smc5-Smc6 complex contains a heterodimeric core of two SMC proteins and non-Smc elements (Nse1-6), and plays an important role in DNA repair. We investigated the functional roles of Nse4 and Nse1 in Dictyostelium discoideum. Nse4 and Nse3 expressed as Flag-tagged fusion proteins were highly enriched in nuclei, while Nse1 was localized in whole cells. Using yeast two-hybrid assays, only the interaction between Nse3 and Nse1 was detected among the combinations. However, all of the interactions among these three proteins were recognized by co-immunoprecipitation assay using cell lysates prepared from the cells expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)- or Flag-tagged fusion proteins. GFP-tagged Nse1, which localized in whole cells, was translocated to nuclei when co-expressed with Flag-tagged Nse3 or Nse4. RNAi-mediated Nse1 and Nse4 knockdown cells (Nse1 KD and Nse4 KD cells) were generated and found to be more sensitive to UV-induced cell death than control cells. Upon starvation, Nse1 and Nse4 KD cells had increases in the number of smaller fruiting bodies that formed on non-nutrient agar plates or aggregates that formed under submerged culture. We found a reduction in the mRNA level of pdsA, in vegetative and 8 h-starved Nse4 KD cells, and pdsA knockdown cells displayed effects similar to Nse4 KD cells. Our results suggest that Nse4 and Nse1 are involved in not only the cellular DNA damage response but also cellular development in D. discoideum.

  20. A Dictyostelium mutant deficient in severin, an F-actin fragmenting protein, shows normal motility and chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    A severin deficient mutant of Dictyostelium discoideum has been isolated by the use of colony immunoblotting after chemical mutagenesis. In homogenates of wild-type cells, severin is easily detected as a very active F-actin fragmenting protein. Tests for severin in the mutant, HG1132, included viscometry for the assay of F- actin fragmentation in fractions from DEAE-cellulose columns, labeling of blots with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, and immunofluorescent-labeling of cryosections. Severin could not be detected in the mutant using these methods. The mutation in HG1132 is recessive and has been mapped to linkage group VII. The mutant failed to produce the normal severin mRNA, but small amounts of a transcript that was approximately 100 bases larger than the wild-type mRNA were detected in the mutant throughout all stages of development. On the DNA level a new Mbo II restriction site was found in the mutant within the coding region of the severin gene. The severin deficient mutant cells grew at an approximately normal rate, aggregated and formed fruiting bodies with viable spores. By the use of an image processing system, speed of cell movement, turning rates, and precision of chemotactic orientation in a stable gradient of cyclic AMP were quantitated, and no significant differences between wild-type and mutant cells were found. Thus, under the culture conditions used, severin proved to be neither essential for growth of D. discoideum nor for any cell function that is important for aggregation or later development. PMID:2537840

  1. Derivatives of Dictyostelium differentiation-inducing factors inhibit lysophosphatidic acid–stimulated migration of murine osteosarcoma LM8 cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kubohara, Yuzuru; Komachi, Mayumi; Homma, Yoshimi; Kikuchi, Haruhisa; Oshima, Yoshiteru

    2015-08-07

    Osteosarcoma is a common metastatic bone cancer that predominantly develops in children and adolescents. Metastatic osteosarcoma remains associated with a poor prognosis; therefore, more effective anti-metastatic drugs are needed. Differentiation-inducing factor-1 (DIF-1), −2, and −3 are novel lead anti-tumor agents that were originally isolated from the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Here we investigated the effects of a panel of DIF derivatives on lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-induced migration of mouse osteosarcoma LM8 cells by using a Boyden chamber assay. Some DIF derivatives such as Br-DIF-1, DIF-3(+2), and Bu-DIF-3 (5–20 μM) dose-dependently suppressed LPA-induced cell migration with associated IC{sub 50} values of 5.5, 4.6, and 4.2 μM, respectively. On the other hand, the IC{sub 50} values of Br-DIF-1, DIF-3(+2), and Bu-DIF-3 versus cell proliferation were 18.5, 7.2, and 2.0 μM, respectively, in LM8 cells, and >20, 14.8, and 4.3 μM, respectively, in mouse 3T3-L1 fibroblasts (non-transformed). Together, our results demonstrate that Br-DIF-1 in particular may be a valuable tool for the analysis of cancer cell migration, and that DIF derivatives such as DIF-3(+2) and Bu-DIF-3 are promising lead anti-tumor agents for the development of therapies that suppress osteosarcoma cell proliferation, migration, and metastasis. - Highlights: • LPA induces cell migration (invasion) in murine osteosarcoma LM8 cells. • DIFs are novel lead anti-tumor agents found in Dictyostelium discoideum. • We examined the effects of DIF derivatives on LPA-induced LM8 cell migration in vitro. • Some of the DIF derivatives inhibited LPA-induced LM8 cell migration.

  2. Phg1/TM9 Proteins Control Intracellular Killing of Bacteria by Determining Cellular Levels of the Kil1 Sulfotransferase in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Le Coadic, Marion; Froquet, Romain; Lima, Wanessa C.; Dias, Marco; Marchetti, Anna; Cosson, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum has largely been used to study phagocytosis and intracellular killing of bacteria. Previous studies have shown that Phg1A, Kil1 and Kil2 proteins are necessary for efficient intracellular killing of Klebsiella bacteria. Here we show that in phg1a KO cells, cellular levels of lysosomal glycosidases and lysozyme are decreased, and lysosomal pH is increased. Surprisingly, overexpression of Kil1 restores efficient killing in phg1a KO cells without correcting these lysosomal anomalies. Conversely, kil1 KO cells are defective for killing, but their enzymatic content and lysosomal pH are indistinguishable from WT cells. The killing defect of phg1a KO cells can be accounted for by the observation that in these cells the stability and the cellular amount of Kil1 are markedly reduced. Since Kil1 is the only sulfotransferase characterized in Dictyostelium, an (unidentified) sulfated factor, defective in both phg1a and kil1 KO cells, may play a key role in intracellular killing of Klebsiella bacteria. In addition, Phg1B plays a redundant role with Phg1A in controlling cellular amounts of Kil1 and intracellular killing. Finally, cellular levels of Kil1 are unaffected in kil2 KO cells, and Kil1 overexpression does not correct the killing defect of kil2 KO cells, suggesting that Kil2 plays a distinct role in intracellular killing. PMID:23301051

  3. The Gα4 G protein subunit interacts with the MAP kinase ERK2 using a D-motif that regulates developmental morphogenesis in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Hoai-Nghia; Hadwiger, Jeffrey A.

    2009-01-01

    G protein Gα subunits contribute to the specificity of different signal transduction pathways in Dictyostelium discoideum but Gα subunit-effector interactions have not been previously identified. The requirement of the Dictyostelium Gα4 subunit for MAP kinase (MAPK) activation and the identification of a putative MAPK docking site (D-motif) in this subunit suggested a possible interaction between the Gα4 subunit and MAPKs. In vivo association of the Gα4 subunit and ERK2 was demonstrated by pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays. Alteration of the D-motif reduced Gα4 subunit-ERK2 interactions but only slightly altered MAPK activation in response to folate. Expression of the Gα4 subunit with the altered D-motif in gα4− cells allowed for slug formation but not the morphogenesis associated with culmination. Expression of this mutant Gα4 subunit was sufficient to rescue chemotactic movement to folate. Alteration of the D-motif also reduced the aggregation defect associated with constitutively active Gα4 subunits. These results suggest Gα4 subunit-MAPK interactions are necessary for developmental morphogenesis but not for chemotaxis to folate. PMID:19765570

  4. Talin-Null Cells of Dictyostelium Are Strongly Defective in Adhesion to Particle and Substrate Surfaces and Slightly Impaired in Cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    Niewöhner, Jens; Weber, Igor; Maniak, Markus; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Gerisch, Günther

    1997-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum contains a full-length homologue of talin, a protein implicated in linkage of the actin system to sites of cell-to-substrate adhesion in fibroblasts and neuronal growth cones. Gene replacement eliminated the talin homologue in Dictyostelium and led to defects in phagocytosis and cell-to-substrate interaction of moving cells, two processes dependent on a continuous cross talk between the cell surface and underlying cytoskeleton. The uptake rate of yeast particles was reduced, and only bacteria devoid of the carbohydrate moiety of cell surface lipopolysaccharides were adhesive enough to be recruited by talin-null cells in suspension and phagocytosed. Cell-to-cell adhesion of undeveloped cells was strongly impaired in the absence of talin, in contrast with the cohesion of aggregating cells mediated by the phospholipid-anchored contact site A glycoprotein, which proved to be less talin dependent. The mutant cells were still capable of moving and responding to a chemoattractant, although they attached only loosely to a substrate via small areas of their surface. With their high proportion of binucleated cells, the talin-null mutants revealed interactions of the mitotic apparatus with the cell cortex that were not obvious in mononucleated cells. PMID:9230077

  5. The C Isoform of Dictyostelium Tetraspanins Localizes to the Contractile Vacuole and Contributes to Resistance against Osmotic Stress.

    PubMed

    Albers, Tineke; Maniak, Markus; Beitz, Eric; von Bülow, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Tetraspanins (Tsps) are membrane proteins that are widely expressed in eukaryotic organisms. Only recently, Tsps have started to acquire relevance as potential new drug targets as they contribute, via protein-protein interactions, to numerous pathophysiological processes including infectious diseases and cancer. However, due to a high number of isoforms and functional redundancy, knowledge on specific functions of most Tsps is still scarce. We set out to characterize five previously annotated Tsps, TspA-E, from Dictyostelium discoideum, a model for studying proteins that have human orthologues. Using reverse transcriptase PCRs, we found mRNAs for TspA-E in the multicellular slug stage, whereas vegetative cells expressed only TspA, TspC and, to a lesser extent, TspD. We raised antibodies against TspA, TspC and TspD and detected endogenous TspA, as well as heterologously expressed TspA and TspC by Western blot. N-deglycosylation assays and mutational analyses showed glycosylation of TspA and TspC in vivo. GFP-tagged Tsps co-localized with the proton pump on the contractile vacuole network. Deletion strains of TspC and TspD exibited unaltered growth, adhesion, random motility and development. Yet, tspC- cells showed a defect in coping with hypo-osmotic stress, due to accumulation of contractile vacuoles, but heterologous expression of TspC rescued their phenotype. In conclusion, our data fill a gap in Dictyostelium research and open up the possibility that Tsps in contractile vacuoles of e.g. Trypanosoma may one day constitute a valuable drug target for treating sleeping sickness, one of the most threatening tropical diseases.

  6. The protein domains of the Dictyostelium microprocessor that are required for correct subcellular localization and for microRNA maturation.

    PubMed

    Kruse, Janis; Meier, Doreen; Zenk, Fides; Rehders, Maren; Nellen, Wolfgang; Hammann, Christian

    2016-10-02

    The maturation pathways of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been delineated for plants and several animals, belonging to the evolutionary supergroups of Archaeplastida and Opisthokonta, respectively. Recently, we reported the discovery of the microprocessor complex in Dictyostelium discoideum of the Amoebozoa supergroup. The complex is composed of the Dicer DrnB and the dsRBD (double-stranded RNA binding domain) containing protein RbdB. Both proteins localize at nucleoli, where they physically interact, and both are required for miRNA maturation. Here we show that the miRNA phenotype of a ΔdrnB gene deletion strain can be rescued by ectopic expression of a series of DrnB GFP fusion proteins, which consistently showed punctate perinucleolar localization in fluorescence microscopy. These punctate foci appear surprisingly stable, as they persist both disintegration of nucleoli and degradation of cellular nucleic acids. We observed that DrnB expression levels influence the number of microprocessor foci and alter RbdB accumulation. An investigation of DrnB variants revealed that its newly identified nuclear localization signal is necessary, but not sufficient for the perinucleolar localization. Biogenesis of miRNAs, which are RNA Pol II transcripts, is correlated with that localization. Besides its bidentate RNase III domains, DrnB contains only a dsRBD, which surprisingly is dispensable for miRNA maturation. This dsRBD can, however, functionally replace the homologous domain in RbdB. Based on the unique setup of the Dictyostelium microprocessor with a subcellular localization similar to plants, but a protein domain composition similar to animals, we propose a model for the evolutionary origin of RNase III proteins acting in miRNA maturation.

  7. Mutant analysis suggests that cyclic GMP mediates the cyclic AMP-induced Ca2+ uptake in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Menz, S; Bumann, J; Jaworski, E; Malchow, D

    1991-05-01

    Previous work has shown that streamer F (stmF) mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum exhibit prolonged chemotactic elongation in aggregation fields. The mutants carry an altered structural gene for cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase resulting in low activities of this enzyme. Chemotactic stimulation by cyclic AMP causes a rapid transient increase in the cyclic GMP concentration followed by association of myosin heavy chains with the cytoskeleton. Both events persist several times longer in stmF mutants than in the parental strain, indicating that the change in association of myosin with the cytoskeleton is transmitted directly or indirectly by cyclic GMP. We measured the cyclic AMP-induced Ca2+ uptake with a Ca(2+)-sensitive electrode and found that Ca2+ uptake was prolonged in stmF mutants but not in the parental strain. The G alpha 2 mutant strain HC33 (fgdA), devoid of InsP3 release and receptor/guanylate cyclase coupling, lacked Ca2+ uptake. However, the latter response and cyclic GMP formation were normal in the signal-relay mutant strain agip 53 where cyclic AMP-stimulated cyclic AMP synthesis is absent. LiCl, which inhibits InsP3 formation in Dictyostelium, blocked Ca2+ uptake in a dose-dependent manner. The data indicate that the receptor-mediated Ca2+ uptake depends on the InsP3 pathway and is regulated by cyclic GMP. The rate of Ca2+ uptake was correlated in time with the association of myosin with the cytoskeleton, suggesting that Ca2+ uptake is involved in the motility response of the cells.

  8. The C Isoform of Dictyostelium Tetraspanins Localizes to the Contractile Vacuole and Contributes to Resistance against Osmotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Albers, Tineke; Maniak, Markus; Beitz, Eric; von Bülow, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Tetraspanins (Tsps) are membrane proteins that are widely expressed in eukaryotic organisms. Only recently, Tsps have started to acquire relevance as potential new drug targets as they contribute, via protein-protein interactions, to numerous pathophysiological processes including infectious diseases and cancer. However, due to a high number of isoforms and functional redundancy, knowledge on specific functions of most Tsps is still scarce. We set out to characterize five previously annotated Tsps, TspA-E, from Dictyostelium discoideum, a model for studying proteins that have human orthologues. Using reverse transcriptase PCRs, we found mRNAs for TspA-E in the multicellular slug stage, whereas vegetative cells expressed only TspA, TspC and, to a lesser extent, TspD. We raised antibodies against TspA, TspC and TspD and detected endogenous TspA, as well as heterologously expressed TspA and TspC by Western blot. N-deglycosylation assays and mutational analyses showed glycosylation of TspA and TspC in vivo. GFP-tagged Tsps co-localized with the proton pump on the contractile vacuole network. Deletion strains of TspC and TspD exibited unaltered growth, adhesion, random motility and development. Yet, tspC− cells showed a defect in coping with hypo-osmotic stress, due to accumulation of contractile vacuoles, but heterologous expression of TspC rescued their phenotype. In conclusion, our data fill a gap in Dictyostelium research and open up the possibility that Tsps in contractile vacuoles of e.g. Trypanosoma may one day constitute a valuable drug target for treating sleeping sickness, one of the most threatening tropical diseases. PMID:27597994

  9. Dispatch. Dictyostelium chemotaxis: fascism through the back door?

    PubMed

    Insall, Robert

    2003-04-29

    Aggregating Dictyostelium cells secrete cyclic AMP to attract their neighbours by chemotaxis. It has now been shown that adenylyl cyclase is enriched in the rear of cells, and this localisation is required for normal aggregation.

  10. TipC and the chorea-acanthocytosis protein VPS13A regulate autophagy in Dictyostelium and human HeLa cells

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz-Braceras, Sandra; Calvo, Rosa; Escalante, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Deficient autophagy causes a distinct phenotype in Dictyostelium discoideum, characterized by the formation of multitips at the mound stage. This led us to analyze autophagy in a number of multitipped mutants described previously (tipA−, tipB−, tipC−, and tipD−). We found a clear autophagic dysfunction in tipC− and tipD− while the others showed no defects. tipD codes for a homolog of Atg16, which confirms the role of this protein in Dictyostelium autophagy and validates our approach. The tipC-encoded protein is highly similar to human VPS13A (also known as chorein), whose mutations cause the chorea-acanthocytosis syndrome. No member of the VPS13 protein family has been previously related to autophagy despite the presence of a region of similarity to Atg2 at the C terminus. This region also contains the conserved domain of unknown function DUF1162. Of interest, the expression of the TipC C-terminal coding sequence containing these 2 motifs largely complemented the mutant phenotype. Dictyostelium cells lacking TipC displayed a reduced number of autophagosomes visualized with the markers GFP-Atg18 and GFP-Atg8 and an impaired autophagic degradation as determined by a proteolytic cleavage assay. Downregulation of human VPS13A in HeLa cells by RNA interference confirmed the participation of the human protein in autophagy. VPS13A-depleted cells showed accumulation of autophagic markers and impaired autophagic flux. PMID:25996471

  11. Shell tension forces propel Dictyostelium slugs forward

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieu, Jean-Paul; Delanoë-Ayari, Hélène

    2012-12-01

    The Dictyostelium slug is an excellent model system for studying collective movements, as it is comprised of about 105 cells all moving together in the same direction. It still remains unclear how this movement occurs and what the physical mechanisms behind it are. By applying our recently developed 3D traction force microscopy, we propose a simple explanation for slug propulsion. Most of the forces are exerted by the sheath surrounding the slug. This secreted shell is under a rather uniform tension (around 50 mN m-1) and will give rise to a tissue under pressure. Finally, we propose that this pressure will naturally push the slug tip forwards if a gradient of shell mechanical properties takes place in the very anterior part of the raised tip.

  12. Neurofibromin controls macropinocytosis and phagocytosis in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Bloomfield, Gareth; Traynor, David; Sander, Sophia P; Veltman, Douwe M; Pachebat, Justin A; Kay, Robert R

    2015-03-27

    Cells use phagocytosis and macropinocytosis to internalise bulk material, which in phagotrophic organisms supplies the nutrients necessary for growth. Wildtype Dictyostelium amoebae feed on bacteria, but for decades laboratory work has relied on axenic mutants that can also grow on liquid media. We used forward genetics to identify the causative gene underlying this phenotype. This gene encodes the RasGAP Neurofibromin (NF1). Loss of NF1 enables axenic growth by increasing fluid uptake. Mutants form outsized macropinosomes which are promoted by greater Ras and PI3K activity at sites of endocytosis. Relatedly, NF1 mutants can ingest larger-than-normal particles using phagocytosis. An NF1 reporter is recruited to nascent macropinosomes, suggesting that NF1 limits their size by locally inhibiting Ras signalling. Our results link NF1 with macropinocytosis and phagocytosis for the first time, and we propose that NF1 evolved in early phagotrophs to spatially modulate Ras activity, thereby constraining and shaping their feeding structures.

  13. Steroids initiate a signaling cascade that triggers rapid sporulation in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Anjard, Christophe; Su, Yongxuan; Loomis, William F.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Encapsulation of prespore cells of Dictyostelium discoideum is controlled by several intercellular signals to ensure appropriate timing during fruiting body formation. Acyl-CoA-binding protein, AcbA, is secreted by prespore cells and processed by the prestalk protease TagC to form the 34 amino acid peptide SDF-2 that triggers rapid encapsulation. AcbA is secreted when γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is released from prespore cells and binds to GrlE, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Analysis of SDF-2 production in mutant strains lacking Gα subunits and GPCRs, either as pure populations or when mixed with other mutant strains, uncovered the non-cell-autonomous roles of GrlA, Gα4 and Gα7. We found that Gα7 is essential for the response to GABA and is likely to be coupled to GrlE. GrlA-null and Gα4-null cells respond normally to GABA but fail to secrete it. We found that they are necessary for the response to a small hydrophobic molecule, SDF-3, which is released late in culmination. Pharmacological inhibition of steroidogenesis during development blocked the production of SDF-3. Moreover, the response to SDF-3 could be blocked by the steroid antagonist mifepristone, whereas hydrocortisone and other steroids mimicked the effects of SDF-3 when added in the nanomolar range. It appears that SDF-3 is a steroid that elicits rapid release of GABA by acting through the GPCR GrlA, coupled to G protein containing the Gα4 subunit. SDF-3 is at the head of the cascade that amplifies the signal for encapsulation to ensure the rapid, synchronous formation of spores. PMID:19176583

  14. The Dictyostelium MAPK ERK1 is phosphorylated in a secondary response to early developmental signaling.

    PubMed

    Schwebs, David J; Hadwiger, Jeffrey A

    2015-01-01

    Previous reports have suggested that the two mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in Dictyostelium discoideum, ERK1 and ERK2, can be directly activated in response to external cAMP even though these MAPKs play different roles in the developmental life cycle. To better characterize MAPK regulation, the levels of phosphorylated MAPKs were analyzed in response to external signals. Only ERK2 was rapidly phosphorylated in response to the chemoattractants, cAMP and folate. In contrast, the phosphorylation of ERK1 occurred as a secondary or indirect response to these stimuli and this phosphorylation was enhanced by cell-cell interactions, suggesting that other external signals can activate ERK1. The phosphorylation of ERK1 or ERK2 did not require the function of the other MAPK in these responses. Folate stimulation of a chimeric population of erk1- and gα4- cells revealed that the phosphorylation of ERK1 could be mediated through an intercellular signal other than folate. Loss of ERK1 function suppressed the developmental delay and the deficiency in anterior cell localization associated with gα5- mutants suggesting that ERK1 function can be down regulated through Gα5 subunit-mediated signaling. However, no major changes in the phosphorylation of ERK1 were observed in gα5- cells suggesting that the Gα5 subunit signaling pathway does not regulate the phosphorylation of ERK1. These findings suggest that the activation of ERK1 occurs as a secondary response to chemoattractants and that other cell-cell signaling mechanisms contribute to this activation. Gα5 subunit signaling can down regulate ERK1 function to promote prestalk cell development but not through major changes to the level of phosphorylated ERK1.

  15. An evolutionarily significant unicellular strategy in response to starvation in Dictyostelium social amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Dubravcic, Darja; van Baalen, Minus; Nizak, Clément