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A novel Myb homolog initiates Dictyostelium development by induction of adenylyl cyclase expression

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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  • Research Paper


Dictyostelium development is induced by starvation. The adenylyl cyclase gene ACA is one of the first genes expressed upon starvation. ACA produces extracellular cAMP that induces chemotaxis, aggregation, and differentiation in neighboring cells. Using insertional mutagenesis we have isolated a mutant that does not aggregate upon starvation but is rescued by adding extracellular cAMP. Sequencing of the mutated locus revealed a new gene, DdMYB2, whose product contains three Myb repeats, the DNA-binding motif of Myb-related transcription factors. Ddmyb2–null cells show undetectable levels of ACA transcript and no cAMP production. Ectopic expression of ACA from a constitutive promotor rescues differentiation and morphogenesis of Ddmyb2–null mutants. The results suggest that development in Dictyostelium starts by starvation-mediated DdMyb2 activation, which induces adenylyl cyclase activity producing the differentiation-inducing signal cAMP.

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