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Curr Biol. 1999 Apr 8;9(7):389-92.

A unique talin homologue with a villin headpiece-like domain is required for multicellular morphogenesis in Dictyostelium.

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Department of Botany, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Molecules involved in the interaction between the extracellular matrix, cell membrane and cytoskeleton are of central importance in morphogenesis. Talin is a large cytoskeletal protein with a modular structure consisting of an amino-terminal membrane-interacting domain, with sequence similarities to members of the band 4.1 family, and a carboxy-terminal region containing F-actin-binding and vinculin-binding domains [1] [2]. It also interacts with the cytoplasmic tail of beta integrins which, on the external face of the membrane, bind to extracellular matrix proteins [3]. The possible roles of talin in multicellular morphogenesis in development remain largely unexplored. In Dictyostelium, a eukaryotic microorganism capable of multicellular morphogenesis, a talin homologue (TALA) has previously been identified and shown to play an important role in cell-to-substrate adhesion and maintenance of normal elastic properties of the cell [4] [5] [6]. Here, we describe a second talin homologue (TALB) that is required for multicellular morphogenesis in the development of Dictyostelium. Unlike any other talin characterised to date, it contains an additional carboxy-terminal domain homologous to the villin headpiece.

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