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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1996;34(1):36-47.

Plant profilins rescue the aberrant phenotype of profilin-deficient Dictyostelium cells.

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Institut fur Zellbiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Munich, Federal Republic of Germany.


To characterize the function of plant profilins in vivo, we expressed two pollen specific Zea mays (maize) profilin isoforms in profilin-minus Dictyostelium discoideum mutants. In maize, profilins exist as a multigene family containing 4 or more members which are highly similar to each other but substantially less similar to profilins from animals and lower eukaryotes. Previously we have shown that D. discoideum profilin-minus cells have an aberrant phenotype due to defects in cell shape, cytokinesis, and development. These defects could be rescued by introducing the pollen-specific profilins 1 or 2 from maize using a newly constructed expression vector. Expression of the heterologous profilins in Dictyostelium clones was assayed by affinity purification of the pollen profilins with poly-proline agarose and by immunoblotting with a polyclonal antiserum raised against maize pollen profilin. In contrast to the profilin-minus mutants, Dictyostelium cells expressing plant profilins showed normal cell shape, contained less F-actin, and were able to form fruiting bodies. These data provide genetic evidence that maize pollen profilins, even though they are specific for a distinct developmental stage, share functional properties with profilin from a lower eukaryote and apparently act as G-actin-sequestering proteins in this system.

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