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Cell Signal. 2008 Aug;20(8):1415-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2008.02.006. Epub 2008 Apr 1.

Highlighting the role of Ras and Rap during Dictyostelium chemotaxis.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, University of Groningen, Kerklaan 30, 9751NN Haren, The Netherlands.


Chemotaxis, the directional movement towards a chemical compound, is an essential property of many cells and has been linked to the development and progression of many diseases. Eukaryotic chemotaxis is a complex process involving gradient sensing, cell polarity, remodelling of the cytoskeleton and signal relay. Recent studies in the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum have shown that chemotaxis does not depend on a single molecular mechanism, but rather depends on several interconnecting pathways. Surprisingly, small G-proteins appear to play essential roles in all these pathways. This review will summarize the role of small G-proteins in Dictyostelium, particularly highlighting the function of the Ras subfamily in chemotaxis.

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