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Dev Biol. 1988 Jul;128(1):178-84.

Developmental consequences of the lack of myosin heavy chain in Dictyostelium discoideum.

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Center for Molecular Genetics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


Two different Dictyostelium discoideum cell lines that lack myosin heavy chain protein (MHC A) have been previously described. One cell line (mhcA) was created by antisense RNA inactivation of the endogenous mRNA and the other (HMM) by insertional mutagenesis of the endogenous myosin gene. The two cell lines show similar developmental defects; they are delayed in aggregation and become arrested at the mound stage. However, when cells that lack myosin heavy chain are mixed with wild-type cells, some of the mutant cells are capable of completing development to form mature spores. The pattern of expression of a number of developmentally regulated genes has been examined in both mutant cell lines. Although morphogenesis becomes aberrant before aggregation is completed, all of the markers that we have examined are expressed normally. These include genes expressed prior to aggregation as well as prespore genes expressed later in development. It appears that the signals necessary for cell-type differentiation are generated in the aborted structures formed by cells lacking MHC A. The mhcA cells have negligible amounts of MHC A protein while the HMM cells express normal amounts of a fragment of the myosin heavy chain protein similar to heavy meromyosin (HMM). The expression of myosin light chain was examined in these two cell lines. HMM cells accumulate normal amounts of the 18,000-D light chain, while the amount of light chain in mhcA cells is dramatically reduced. It is likely that the light chains assemble normally with the HMM fragment in HMM cells, while in cells lacking myosin heavy chain (mhcA) the light chains are unstable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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