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Differentiation. 1995 Dec;59(5):289-97.

Cell-density-dependent repression of discoidin in Dictyostelium discoideum.

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Zoologisches Institut der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t, M√ľnchen, Germany.


When Dictyostelium discoideum cells are grown on bacteria, their natural food source, the discoidin genes are induced by cell-density-sensing factors before the food supply is exhausted [11, 18], and expression increases continuously thereafter. This regulation pattern is changed when cells are grown in axenic medium: the discoidins are induced at a considerably lower cell density and are no longer expressed in stationary phase [13]. We have investigated this phenomenon further and show that repression begins when cells are still in exponential growth. It occurs at the level of transcription and involves an element of the discoidin I gamma promoter for which no function has previously been described. Since the effect of high cell density can be mimicked by conditioned medium, it appears that the repression is due to an extracellular signal. This signal is neither ammonia, nor folate, nor cAMP, the known repressors of discoidin expression.

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