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J Cell Biol. 1997 Jul 28;138(2):349-61.

Talin-null cells of Dictyostelium are strongly defective in adhesion to particle and substrate surfaces and slightly impaired in cytokinesis.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany.


Dictyostelium discoideum contains a full-length homologue of talin, a protein implicated in linkage of the actin system to sites of cell-to-substrate adhesion in fibroblasts and neuronal growth cones. Gene replacement eliminated the talin homologue in Dictyostelium and led to defects in phagocytosis and cell-to-substrate interaction of moving cells, two processes dependent on a continuous cross talk between the cell surface and underlying cytoskeleton. The uptake rate of yeast particles was reduced, and only bacteria devoid of the carbohydrate moiety of cell surface lipopolysaccharides were adhesive enough to be recruited by talin-null cells in suspension and phagocytosed. Cell-to-cell adhesion of undeveloped cells was strongly impaired in the absence of talin, in contrast with the cohesion of aggregating cells mediated by the phospholipid-anchored contact site A glycoprotein, which proved to be less talin dependent. The mutant cells were still capable of moving and responding to a chemoattractant, although they attached only loosely to a substrate via small areas of their surface. With their high proportion of binucleated cells, the talin-null mutants revealed interactions of the mitotic apparatus with the cell cortex that were not obvious in mononucleated cells.

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