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Dev Biol. 1993 Nov;160(1):85-98.

Cell type regulation in response to expression of ricin A in Dictyostelium.

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Department of Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


Expression of ricin A in either prespore or prestalk cells of Dictyostelium discoideum results in cell-autonomous lethality. Strains expressing the toxic gene under the control of a prestalk-specific regulatory region fail to culminate or form stalks, but form spores normally. Strains expressing ricin A under the control of a prespore-specific regulatory region form neither spores nor stalks. Regulation of the cell types results in conversion of prestalk cells to prespore cells when the prespore cells are poisoned. The newly converted cells then express ricin A and die. In contrast, we could not detect any significant conversion of prespore cells to prestalk cells when the prestalk cells are poisoned under our experimental conditions. This regulation of cell types suggests that the tendency of prestalk cells to regulate and become prespore cells is inhibited by the already established prespore cells. It appears that prespore cells control prestalk cell regulation by producing an inhibitor of prespore differentiation to which they themselves are insensitive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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