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Synthesis of spore proteins during development of Dictyostelium discoideum.

  • D G Wilkinson
  • J Wilson
  • B D Hames
Publication Date
Dec 15, 1983
  • Biology


The pattern of synthesis of the spore coat proteins during development of Dictyostelium discoideum has been determined by using immunoprecipitation with spore protein antibody. SP170, SP103, 'SP94', SP82, SP76 and SP55 are all first synthesized just prior to the 'Mexican hat' stage of development (16-18h), but the synthesis of SP72 is delayed. This protein is apparently synthesized as a precursor, P66, which is modified during spore maturation to yield SP72. The nature of the modification is unknown. At their peak period of synthesis during early culmination (18-20h), the spore coat proteins account for 5-9% of total protein synthesis. Shortly after synthesis, these proteins are inserted into the spore coat, where all except SP103 become disulphide-cross-linked during the period 24-30h. SP3 does not accumulate until disulphide-cross-linking of the major spore coat proteins occurs and is itself disulphide-cross-linked into the spore coat. Several additional proteins that are accumulated during development have also been identified, namely P31, P25, P21 and P18. P25 first appears at 18-20h and then continues to be made throughout development. P31 synthesis begins at 12-14h and then largely ceases after approx. 20 h of development. The genes for both P21 and P18 are first expressed early in development, starting at 9-12h. P21 synthesis ceases at approx. 14h, but P18 continues to be synthesized throughout the rest of development. The marked differences in the time period of accumulation of these proteins compared with the co-ordinated syntheses of SP170, SP103, 'SP94', SP82, SP76 and SP55 provide a useful system for analysis of the mechanism of temporal gene expression during development.

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