Structural and biochemical aspects of cell motility in amebas of Dictyostelium discoideum

B. S. Eckert, R. H. Warren, R. W. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Amebas of Dictyostelium discoideum contain both microfilaments and microtubules. Microfilaments, found primarily in a cortical filament network, aggregate into bundles when glycerinated cells contract in response to Mg ATP. These cortical filaments bind heavy meromyosin. Microtubules are sparse in amebas before aggregation. Colchicine, griseofulvin, or cold treatments do not affect cell motility or cell shape. Saltatory movement of cytoplasmic particles is inhibited by these treatments and the particles subsequently accumulate in the posterior of the cell. Cell motility rate changes as Dictyostelium amebas go through different stages of the life cycle. Quantitation of cellular actin by sodium dodecyl sulfate poly acrylamide gel electrophoresis shows that the quantity of cellular actin changes during the life cycle. These changes in actin are directly correlated with changes in motility rate. Addition of cyclic AMP to Dictyostelium cultures at the end of the feeding stage prevents a decline in motility rate during the preaggregation stage. Cyclic AMP also modifies the change in actin content of the cells during preaggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-350
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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