Identification of darlin, a Dictyostelium protein with armadillo-like repeats that binds to small GTPases and is important for the proper aggregation of developing cells

Kalpa K. Vithalani, Carole A. Parent, Eric M. Thorn, Marcus Penn, Denis A. Larochelle, Peter N. Devreotes, Arturo De Lozanne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We purified from Dictyostelium lysates an 88-kDa protein that bound to a subset of small GTPases, including racE, racC, cdc42Hs, and TC4ran, but did not bind to R-ras or rabB. Cloning of the gene encoding this 88-kDa protein revealed that it contained multiple armadillo-like repeats most closely related to the mammalian GTP exchange factor smgGDS. We named this protein darlin (Dictyostelium armadillo-like protein). Disruption of the gene encoding darlin demonstrated that this protein is not essential for cytokinesis, pinocytosis, phagocytosis, or development. However, the ability of darlin null cells to aggregate in response to starvation is severely affected. When starved under liquid medium, the mutant cells were unable to form aggregation centers and streams, possibly because of a defect in cAMP relay signaling. This defect was not due to an inability of the darlin mutants to activate adenylate cyclase in response to G protein stimulation. These results suggest that the darlin protein is involved in a signaling pathway that may modulate the chemotactic response during early development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3095-3106
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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