Nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of a GATA transcription factor functions as a development timer

Huaqing Cai, Mariko Katoh-Kurasawa, Tetsuya Muramoto, Balaji Santhanam, Yu Long, Lei Li, Masahiro Ueda, Pablo A. Iglesias, Gad Shaulsky, Peter N. Devreotes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Biological oscillations are observed at many levels of cellular organization. In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, starvation-triggered multicellular development is organized by periodic cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) waves, which provide both chemoattractant gradients and developmental signals. We report that GtaC, a GATA transcription factor, exhibits rapid nucleocytoplasmic shuttling in response to cAMP waves. This behavior requires coordinated action of a nuclear localization signal and reversible G protein (heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein)-coupled receptor-mediated phosphorylation. Although both are required for developmental gene expression, receptor occupancy promotes nuclear exit of GtaC, which leads to a transient burst of transcription at each cAMP cycle. We demonstrate that this biological circuit filters out high-frequency signals and counts those admitted, thereby enabling cells to modulate gene expression according to the dynamic pattern of the external stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1249531
Issue number6177
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Cai, H., Katoh-Kurasawa, M., Muramoto, T., Santhanam, B., Long, Y., Li, L., Ueda, M., Iglesias, P. A., Shaulsky, G., & Devreotes, P. N. (2014). Nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of a GATA transcription factor functions as a development timer. Science, 343(6177), [1249531].