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Exp Cell Res. 2007 Jul 15;313(12):2563-74. Epub 2007 May 6.

Mutants in the Dictyostelium Arp2/3 complex and chemoattractant-induced actin polymerization.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge, UK. <>


We have investigated the role of the Arp2/3 complex in Dictyostelium cell chemotaxis towards cyclic-AMP and in the actin polymerization that is triggered by this chemoattractant. We confirm that the Arp2/3 complex is recruited to the cell perimeter, or into a pseudopod, after cyclic-AMP stimulation and that this is coincident with actin polymerization. This recruitment is inhibited when actin polymerization is blocked using latrunculin suggesting that the complex binds to pre-existing actin filaments, rather than to a membrane associated signaling complex. We show genetically that an intact Arp2/3 complex is essential in Dictyostelium and have produced partially active mutants in two of its subunits. In these mutants both phases of actin polymerization in response to cyclic-AMP are greatly reduced. One mutant projects pseudopodia more slowly than wild type and has impaired chemotaxis, together with slower movement. The second mutant chemotaxes poorly due to an adhesion defect, suggesting that the Arp2/3 complex plays a crucial part in adhering cells to the substratum as they move. We conclude that the Arp2/3 complex largely mediates the actin polymerization response to chemotactic stimulation and contributes to cell motility, pseudopod extension and adhesion in Dictyostelium chemotaxis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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