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Mutation of theDictyostelium fbxAGene Affects Cell-Fate Decisions and Spatial Patterning

Elsevier GmbH
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1078/143446103322454158
  • Cheaters
  • Development
  • Evolution
  • F-Box Protein
  • Prespore Cells
  • Prestalk Cells
  • Biology


Summary Cell-fate decisions and spatial patterning in Dictyostelium are regulated by a number of genes. Our studies have implicated a gene called fbxA, which codes for an F-box protein, in these pathways. The FbxA protein is one of the controls on a cAMP phosphodiesterase called RegA, mediating its degradation via ubiquitin-linked proteolysis. Using marked strains, we showed that the fbxA – mutant has defective cell-type proportioning, with a dearth of prestalk cells compared to prespore cells. In this work, we show that this effect occurs earlier during the 24 hour developmental cycle than previously thought. The normal sorting of the prestalk and prespore cells in aggregates and mounds is not affected by the mutation. The mutant cells sort abnormally at the tipped mound stage, when prespore and prestalk cells normally distribute into their proper compartments. The fbxA – mutant forms prestalk cells in low numbers when not in chimeras, but in the presence of wild-type amoebae the mutant preferentially forms viable spores, driving the wild type to form non-viable stalk cells. In an attempt to identify the signal transduction pathway that mediates proportionality in prestalk and prespore cells, we asked whether certain signal transduction mutants were immune to the effects of the fbxA –cells and formed spores in chimeras.

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