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Annu Rev Biochem. 1996;65:411-40.

Molecular genetics of signal transduction in Dictyostelium.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


In conditions of starvation, the free living amoebae of Dictyostelium enter a developmental program: The cells aggregate by chemotaxis to form a multicellular structure that undergoes morphogenesis and cell-type differentiation. These processes are mediated by a family of cell surface cAMP receptors (cARs) that act on a specific heterotrimeric G protein to stimulate actin polymerization, activation of adenylyl and guanylyl cyclases, and a host of other responses. Most of the components in these pathways have mammalian counterparts. The accessible genetics of this unicellular organism facilitate structure-function analysis and enable the discovery of novel genes involved in the regulation of these important pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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