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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Mar 15;1525(3):228-33.

Dictyostelium discoideum: a genetic model system for the study of professional phagocytes. Profilin, phosphoinositides and the lmp gene family in Dictyostelium.

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A.-Butenandt-Institut für Zellbiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Schillerstr. 42, 80336, Munich, Germany.


Profilin is a key regulator of actin polymerization, and plays a pivotal role at the interface of the phosphoinositide signal transduction pathway and the cytoskeleton. Recent evidence suggests the involvement of profilin in the regulation of phagocytosis and macropinocytosis, and the transport along the endosomal pathway. Disruption of profilin leads to a complex phenotype that includes abnormal cytokinesis, a block in development and defects in the endosomal pathway. Macropinocytosis, fluid phase efflux and secretion of lysosomal enzymes were reduced, whereas the rate of phagocytosis was increased as compared to wild-type cells. The lmpA gene, a homolog of the CD36/LIMPII family, was identified as a suppressor for most of the profilin-minus defects. This gene encodes an integral membrane protein, it localizes to lysosomes and macropinosomes, and binds to phosphoinositides. Even though phosphatidylinositol lipids constitute only a small fraction of total lipids in the membranes of eukaryotic cells, they play an important role in vesicle transport, signal transduction and cytoskeletal regulation. Disruption of lmpA in wild-type cells resulted in defects in fluid phase efflux and macropinocytosis, but not in phagocytosis. The discovery and initial characterization of two additional members of the CD36/LIMPII family in Dictyostelium, lmpB and lmpC, that exhibit intriguing differences in developmental regulation and their putative sorting signals, suggests that a set of lysosomal integral membrane proteins contribute to the crosstalk between vesicles and cytoskeletal proteins.

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