Multiple genes for cell surface cAMP receptors in Dictyostelium discoideum

Charles L. Saxe, Ronald Johnson, Peter N. Devreotes, Alan R. Kimmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have cloned and characterized three genes (CAR1, CAR2, CAR3) encoding potential cell surface, cyclic adenosine 3′:5′ monophosphate (AMP) receptors from Dictyostelium discoideum. The three proteins are predicted to be substantially similar in amino acid sequence throughout most of their transmembrane (TM) and loop domains but are distinctly different in their carboxyl terminal segments. In addition, all three genes possess an intron which interrupts an equivalent codon of TM3. CAR1 is expressed early in development when the cAMP relay system is being established. As development proceeds multiple size forms of CAR1 RNA are detected which apparently result from differences in their 5′‐untranslated regions. Late in development levels of CAR1 RNA decrease. In contrast, CAR2 encodes a single sized RNA which is expressed only during postaggregative development. CAR3 expression is ∼10% of CAR1 during early development, is maximal during tight aggregate formation but declines thereafter. Only one size class of CAR3 mRNA is detected throughout development. Because RNA for each of the three genes is present in postaggregative cells, it was of interest to determine the cell type distribution of each RNA. Gene‐specific probes were hybridized to RNAs isolated from cells of Percoll gradient‐enriched prespore and prestalk fractions and relative levels of hybridization compared. CAR1 and CAR3 show approximately the same pattern of accumulation; a 3–4 fold enrichment in prestalk cells. CAR2, however, is highly enriched in prestalk cells, more than 10 fold relative to prespore cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Genetics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1991


  • G‐proteins
  • Signal transduction
  • adenylyl cyclase
  • gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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