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J Cell Biochem. 1988 Jul;37(3):285-99.

Relationship of pseudopod extension to chemotactic hormone-induced actin polymerization in amoeboid cells.

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Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461.


Aggregation-competent amoeboid cells of Dictyostelium discoideum are chemotactic toward cAMP. Video microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to quantitate changes in cell morphology and locomotion during uniform upshifts in the concentration of cAMP. These studies demonstrate that morphological and motile responses to cAMP are sufficiently synchronous within a cell population to allow relevant biochemical analyses to be performed on large numbers of cells. Changes in cell behavior were correlated with F-actin content by using an NBD-phallacidin binding assay. These studies demonstrate that actin polymerization occurs in two stages in response to stimulation of cells with extracellular cAMP and involves the addition of monomers to the cytochalasin D-sensitive (barbed) ends of actin filaments. The second stage of actin assembly, which peaks at 60 sec following an upshift in cAMP concentration, is temporally correlated with the growth of new pseudopods. The F-actin assembled by 60 sec is localized in these new pseudopods. These results indicate that actin polymerization may constitute one of the driving forces for pseudopod extension in amoeboid cells and that nucleation sites regulating polymerization are under the control of chemotaxis receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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