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Dictyostelium discoideum: a model system for differentiation and patterning


, : Dictyostelium discoideum: a model system for differentiation and patterning. International Journal of Developmental Biology 44(8): 819-835

In Dictyostelium, development begins with the aggregation of free living amoebae, which soon become organized into a relatively simple organism with a few different cell types. Coordinated cell type differentiation and morphogenesis lead to a final fruiting body that allows the dispersal of spores. The study of these processes is having increasing impact on our understanding of general developmental mechanisms. The availability of biochemical and molecular genetics techniques has allowed the discovery of complex signaling networks which are essential for Dictyostelium development and are also conserved in other organisms. The levels of cAMP (both intracellular and extracellular) play essential roles in every stage of Dictyostelium development, regulating many different signal transduction pathways. Two-component systems, involving histidine kinases and response regulators, have been found to regulate intracellular cAMP levels and PKA during terminal differentiation. The sequence of the Dictyostelium genome is expected to be completed in less than two years. Nevertheless, the available sequences that are already being released, together with the results of expressed sequence tags (ESTs), are providing invaluable tools to identify new and interesting genes for further functional analysis. Global expression studies, using DNA microarrays in synchronous development to study temporal changes in gene expression, are presently being developed. In the near future, the application of this type of technology to the complete set of Dictyostelium genes (approximately 10,000) will facilitate the discovery of the effects of mutation of components of the signaling networks that regulate Dictyostelium development on changes in gene expression.


Accession: 045777006

PMID: 11206323

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Related references

Escalante, R.; Vicente, J., J., 2000: Dictyostelium discoideum: A model system for differentiation and patterning. In Dictyostelium, development begins with the aggregation of free living amoebae, which soon become organized into a relatively simple organism with a few different cell types. Coordinated cell type differentiation and morphogenesis lead to a fina...

Sawada, Y.; Maeda, Y.; Takeuchi, I.; Williams, J.; Maeda, Y., 1998: Rapid patterning of Dictyostelium discoideum cells under confined geometry and its relation to differentiation. The following was recently reported by Bonner et al. (1995): (1) Rapid differentiation occurred into two zones in Dictyostelium discoideum cells confined in a fine glass capillary. The cells in the anterior zone exposed to the air appear similar t...

Sawada, Y.; Maeda, Y.; Takeuchi, I.; Williams, J.; Maeda, Y., 1998: Rapid patterning of Dictyostelium discoideum cells under confined geometry and its relation to differentiation. The following was recently reported by Bonner et al. (1995): (1) Rapid differentiation occurred into two zones in Dictyostelium discoideum cells confined in a fine glass capillary. The cells in the anterior zone exposed to the air appear similar t...

Cotter, D.A.; Sands, T.W.; Virdy, K.J.; North, M.J.; Klein, G.; Satre, M., 1992: Patterning of development in Dictyostelium discoideum: factors regulating growth, differentiation, spore dormancy, and germination. Cellular communication dictates all stages of growth and development in the cellular slime molds. Dictyostelium discoideum utilizes a number of signal molecules for cell-to-cell communication, including growth and density factors, cAMP, ammonia, d...

Balint Kurti, P.; Ginsburg, G.; Kimmel, A., 1995: RZIP, a transcription factor homolog involved in cell differentiation and patterning during the development of Dictyostelium discoideum. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry Supplement 0(19A): 334

Meinhardt, H., 1983: A model for the prestalk/prespore patterning in the slug of the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum. Differentiation, 243: 191-202

Meinhardt, H., 1983: A model for the prestalk/prespore patterning in the slug of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. We propose that the prestalk/prespore pattern in Dictyostelium is generated in two steps: In a first process, an intermingled, non-position dependent prestalk/prespore pattern is generated by a cell-restricted autocatalysis and the antagonistic ac...

Newell, P.C., 1971: The development of the cellular slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum: a model system for the study of cellular differentiation. Essays in Biochemistry 7: 87-126

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Janssen, K.P.ter; Schleicher, M., 2001: Dictyostelium discoideum: A genetic model system for the study of professional phagocytes: Profilin, phosphoinositides and the lmp gene family in Dictyostelium. Profilin is a key regulator of actin polymerization, and plays a pivotal role at the interface of the phosphoinositide signal transduction pathway and the cytoskeleton. Recent evidence suggests the involvement of profilin in the regulation of phag...