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Amoeboid movement anchored by eupodia, new actin-rich knobby feet in Dictyostelium



Amoeboid movement anchored by eupodia, new actin-rich knobby feet in Dictyostelium



Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton 36(4): 339-354



To date, protrusion of pseudopodia has been considered to be primarily responsible for translocation of free-living amoebae and leukocytes of higher organisms. Although there is little question that the pseudopodium plays an important role, little attention has been given to the cortical structures that are responsible for cell-substratum anchorage in amoeboid movement. Here, we report on a new knobby foot-like structure in amoebae of a cellullar slime mold, Dictyostelium discoideum. These feet, each about 1 micron in diameter, appear transiently in multiple units at the base of certain pseudopodia where the amoeba contacts a partially deformable substrate. The feet were discovered, and their spatial and temporal behavior relative to pseudopodial anchorage and invasive locomotion were observed, by examining Dictyostelium amoebae using a DIC video microscope providing an 0.3 micron depth of field. Key evidence for the anchoring role of the knobby feet was obtained by investigating amoebae, flattened in a specially devised observation chamber, and attracted by chemotaxis towards 3',5' cyclic-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The cAMP was released by highly localized, pulsed UV-microbeam irradiation of caged cAMP. We show by indirect immunofluorescence that the knobby feet contain a high concentration of filamentous (F-) actin, myoB (a member of Dictyostelium myosin-I family), and alpha-actinin (an actin-binding protein). Interestingly, myoB exhibits a circular disposition around each foot. Neither myosin-II (conventional myosin) nor the 269 kD protein, which has been recently identified as a talin homologue of Dictyostelium [Kreitmeier et al., 1995: J. Cell Biol. 129:179-188], are concentrated at the feet. We propose that the knobby feet provide anchorage to the substratum needed by lamellipodia to exert projectile forces for invading narrow spaces or otherwise for a flattened amoeba to secure itself to the deformable substratum. Some forms of adhesion plaques in higher organisms such as "podosomes" or "invadopodia" may perform functions similar to the knobby feet, but appear to differ in life time, cytoskeletal organization and composition. We have named the knobby foot "eupodium."

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Accession: 008136504

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PMID: 9096956

DOI: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0169(1997)36:4<339::aid-cm4>3.0.co;2-0


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