[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Filamin and Cortexillin are F-actin crosslinking proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum allowing actin filaments to form three-dimensional networks. GAPA, an IQGAP related protein, is required for cytokinesis and localizes to the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Here we describe a novel interaction with Filamin which is required for cytokinesis and regulation of the F-actin content. The interaction occurs through the actin binding domain of Filamin and the GRD domain of GAPA. A similar interaction takes place with Cortexillin I. We further report that Filamin associates with Rac1a implying that filamin might act as a scaffold for small GTPases. Filamin and activated Rac associate with GAPA to regulate actin remodelling. Overexpression of filamin and GAPA in the various strains suggests that GAPA regulates the actin cytoskeleton through interaction with Filamin and that it controls cytokinesis through association with Filamin and Cortexillin.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(11):e15440. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ras guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Q, a nucleotide exchange factor from Dictyostelium discoideum, is a 143-kD protein containing RasGEF domains and a DEP domain. We show that RasGEF Q can bind to F-actin, has the potential to form complexes with myosin heavy chain kinase (MHCK) A that contain active RasB, and is the predominant exchange factor for RasB. Overexpression of the RasGEF Q GEF domain activates RasB, causes enhanced recruitment of MHCK A to the cortex, and leads to cytokinesis defects in suspension, phenocopying cells expressing constitutively active RasB, and myosin-null mutants. RasGEF Q(-) mutants have defects in cell sorting and slug migration during later stages of development, in addition to cell polarity defects. Furthermore, RasGEF Q(-) mutants have increased levels of unphosphorylated myosin II, resulting in myosin II overassembly. Collectively, our results suggest that starvation signals through RasGEF Q to activate RasB, which then regulates processes requiring myosin II.
The Journal of Cell Biology 07/2008; 181(5):747-60. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The centrosome-nucleus attachment is a prerequisite for faithful chromosome segregation during mitosis. We addressed the function of the nuclear envelope (NE) protein Sun-1 in centrosome-nucleus connection and the maintenance of genome stability in Dictyostelium discoideum. We provide evidence that Sun-1 requires direct chromatin binding for its inner nuclear membrane targeting. Truncation of the cryptic N-terminal chromatin-binding domain of Sun-1 induces dramatic separation of the inner from the outer nuclear membrane and deformations in nuclear morphology, which are also observed using a Sun-1 RNAi construct. Thus, chromatin binding of Sun-1 defines the integrity of the nuclear architecture. In addition to its role as a NE scaffold, we find that abrogation of the chromatin binding of Sun-1 dissociates the centrosome-nucleus connection, demonstrating that Sun-1 provides an essential link between the chromatin and the centrosome. Moreover, loss of the centrosome-nucleus connection causes severe centrosome hyperamplification and defective spindle formation, which enhances aneuploidy and cell death significantly. We highlight an important new aspect for Sun-1 in coupling the centrosome and nuclear division during mitosis to ensure faithful chromosome segregation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic cells contain a large number of actin binding proteins of different functions, locations and concentrations. They bind either to monomeric actin (G-actin) or to actin filaments (F-actin) and thus regulate the dynamic rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. The Dictyostelium discoideum genome harbors representatives of all G-actin binding proteins including actobindin, twinfilin, and profilin. A phylogenetic analysis of all profilins suggests that two distinguishable groups emerged very early in evolution and comprise either vertebrate and viral profilins or profilins from all other organisms. The newly discovered profilin III isoform in D. discoideum shows all functions that are typical for a profilin. However, the concentration of the third isoform in wild type cells reaches only about 0.5% of total profilin. In a yeast-2-hybrid assay profilin III was found to bind specifically to the proline-rich region of the cytoskeleton-associated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). Immunolocalization studies showed similar to VASP the profilin III isoform in filopodia and an enrichment at their tips. Cells lacking the profilin III isoform show defects in cell motility during chemotaxis. The low abundance and the specific interaction with VASP argue against a significant actin sequestering function of the profilin III isoform.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 06/2007; 1773(5):631-41. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rho subfamily GTPases are implicated in a large number of actin-related processes. They shuttle from an inactive GDP-bound form to an active GTP-bound form. This reaction is catalysed by Guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEFs). GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) help the GTPase return to the inactive GDP-bound form. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum lacks a Rho or Cdc42 ortholog but has several Rac related GTPases. Compared to our understanding of the downstream effects of Racs our understanding of upstream mechanisms that activate Rac GTPases is relatively poor.
We report on GxcDD (Guanine exchange factor for Rac GTPases), a Dictyostelium RacGEF. GxcDD is a 180-kDa multidomain protein containing a type 3 CH domain, two IQ motifs, three PH domains, a RhoGEF domain and an ArfGAP domain. Inactivation of the gene results in defective streaming during development under different conditions and a delay in developmental timing. The characterization of single domains revealed that the CH domain of GxcDD functions as a membrane association domain, the RhoGEF domain can physically interact with a subset of Rac GTPases, and the ArfGAP-PH tandem accumulates in cortical regions of the cell and on phagosomes. Our results also suggest that a conformational change may be required for activation of GxcDD, which would be important for its downstream signaling.
The data indicate that GxcDD is involved in proper streaming and development. We propose that GxcDD is not only a component of the Rac signaling pathway in Dictyostelium, but is also involved in integrating different signals. We provide evidence for a Calponin Homology domain acting as a membrane association domain. GxcDD can bind to several Rac GTPases, but its function as a nucleotide exchange factor needs to be studied further.