Int. J. Dev. Biol. 44: 733 - 742 (2000)
© UPV/EHU Press

Cell-cell signaling and adhesion in phagocytosis and early development of Dictyostelium.

E Bracco, B Pergolizzi, B Peracino, E Ponte, A Balbo, A Mai, A Ceccarelli and S Bozzaro

Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche, Università di Torino, Italy.

ABSTRACT Cell-cell signaling and adhesion regulate transition from the unicellular to the multicellular stage of development in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium. Essential gene networks involved in these processes have been identified and their interplay dissected. Heterotrimeric G protein-linked signal transduction plays a key role in regulating expression of genes mediating chemotaxis or cell adhesion, as well as coordinating actin-based cell motility during phagocytosis and chemotaxis. Two classes of cell adhesion molecules, one cadherin-like and the second belonging to the IgG superfamily, contribute to the strength of adhesion in Dictyostelium aggregates. The developmental role of genes involved in motility and adhesion, and their degree of redundancy, have been re-assessed by using novel developmental assay conditions which are closer to development in nature.