Myosin heavy chain kinases play essential roles in Ca2+, but not cAMP, chemotaxis and the natural aggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum.
ABSTRACT Behavioral analyses of the deletion mutants of the four known myosin II heavy chain (Mhc) kinases of D. discoideum revealed that all played a minor role in the efficiency of basic cell motility, but none played a role in chemotaxis in a spatial gradient of cAMP generated in vitro. However, each of the two kinases MhckA and MhckC, was essential for chemotaxis in a spatial gradient of Ca(2+), shear induced directed movement, and reorientation in the front of waves of cAMP during natural aggregation. The mutant phenotypes of mhckA(-) and mhckC(-) were highly similar to that of the Ca(2+) channel/receptor mutant iplA(-) and the myosin II phosphorylation mutant 3XALA, which produces constitutively unphosphorylated myosin II. These results demonstrate that IplA, MhckA and MhckC play a selective role in chemotaxis in a spatial gradient of Ca(2+), but not cAMP and suggest that Ca(2+) chemotaxis plays a role in the orientation of cells in the front of cAMP waves during natural aggregation.
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ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, attributable to an expanded trinucleotide repeat in the coding region of the human HTT gene, which encodes the protein huntingtin. These mutations lead to huntingtin fragment inclusions in the striatum of the brain. However, the exact function of normal huntingtin and the defect causing the disease remain obscure. Because there are indications that huntingtin plays a role in Ca(2+) homeostasis, we studied the deletion mutant of the HTT ortholog in the model developmental system Dictyostelium discoideum, in which Ca(2+) plays a role in receptor-regulated behavior related to the aggregation process that leads to multicellular morphogenesis. The D.discoideum, the htt(-)-mutant failed to undergo both K(+)-facilitated chemotaxis in spatial gradients of the major chemoattractant cAMP, and chemotaxis up a spatial gradient of Ca(2+), but behaved normally in Ca(2+) -facilitated cAMP chemotaxis and Ca(2+) -dependent flow-directed motility. This was the same phenotypic profile of the null mutant of Nhel, a monovalent cation/H(+)exchanger. The htt(-)-mutant also failed to orient correctly during natural aggregation, as was the case for the Nhel mutant. Moreover, in a K(+)- based buffer the normal localization of actin was similarly defective in both htt(-) and nhe1(-) cells in a K(+)- based buffer, and the normal localization of Nhe1 was disrupted in the htt(-) mutant. These observations demonstrate that Htt and Nhel play roles in the same specific cation-facilitated behaviors and that Nhel localization is directly or indirectly regulated by Htt. Similar cation-dependent behaviors and a similar relationship between Htt and Nhe1 have not been reported for mammalian neurons and deserves investigation, especially as it may relate to Huntington's disease.Developmental Biology 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.08.009 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in the tumor suppressor gene PTEN are associated with a significant proportion of human cancers. Because the human genome also contains several homologs of PTEN, we considered the hypothesis that if a homolog, functionally redundant with PTEN, can be overexpressed, it may rescue the defects of a PTEN mutant. We have performed an initial test of this hypothesis in the model system Dictyostelium discoideum, which contains an ortholog of human PTEN, ptenA. Deletion of ptenA results in defects in motility, chemotaxis, aggregation and multicellular morphogenesis. D. discoideum also contains lpten, a newly discovered homolog of ptenA. Overexpressing lpten completely rescues all developmental and behavioral defects of the D. discoideum mutant ptenA-. This hypothesis must now be tested in human cells.PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e108495. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0108495 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The chemotactic migration of eukaryotic ameboid cells up concentration gradients is among the most advanced forms of cellular behavior. Chemotaxis is controlled by a complex network of signaling proteins bound to specific lipids on the cytoplasmic surface of the plasma membrane at the front of the cell, or the leading edge. The central lipid players in this leading edge signaling pathway include the phosphoinositides PI(4,5)P2 (PIP2) and PI(3,4,5)P3 (PIP3), both of which play multiple roles. The products of PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis, diacylglycerol (DAG) and Ins(1,4,5)P3 (IP3), are also implicated as important players. Together, these leading edge phosphoinositides and their degradation products, in concert with a local Ca2+ signal, control the recruitment and activities of many peripheral membrane proteins that are crucial to the leading edge signaling network. The present critical review summarizes the current molecular understanding of chemotactic signaling at the leading edge, including newly discovered roles of phosphoinositide lipids and Ca2+, while highlighting key questions for future research.Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2014.01.002 · 2.59 Impact Factor