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Mol Biol Cell. 2001 Sep;12(9):2590-600.

Expression patterns of cell-type-specific genes in Dictyostelium.

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  • 1Division of Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Cell-type specific genes were recognized by interrogating microarrays carrying Dictyostelium gene fragments with probes prepared from fractions enriched in prestalk and prespore cells. Cell-type specific accumulation of mRNA from 17 newly identified genes was confirmed by Northern analyses. DNA microarrays carrying 690 targets were used to determine expression profiles during development. The profiles were fit to a biologically based kinetic equation to extract the times of transcription onset and cessation. Although the majority of the genes that were cell-type enriched at the slug stage were first expressed as the prespore and prestalk cells sorted out in aggregates, some were found to be expressed earlier before the cells had even aggregated. These early genes may have been initially expressed in all cells and then preferentially turned over in one or the other cell type. Alternatively, cell type divergence may start soon after the initiation of development.

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