Three-dimensional in vivo analysis of Dictyostelium mounds reveals directional sorting of prestalk cells and defines a role for the myosin II regulatory light chain in prestalk cell sorting and tip protrusion

Patricia A. Clow, Tung Ling L Chen, Rex L. Chisholm, James G. McNally*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

During cell sorting in Dictyostelium, we observed that GFP-tagged prestalk cells (ecmAO-expressing cells) moved independently and directionally to form a cluster. This is consistent with a chemotaxis model for cell sorting land not differential adhesion) in which a long-range signal attracts many of the prestalk cells to the site of cluster formation. Surprisingly, the ecmAO prestalk cluster that we observed was initially found at a random location within the mound of this Ax3 strain, defining an intermediate sorting stage not widely reported in Dictyostelium. The cluster then moved en masse to the top of the mound to produce the classic, apical pattern of ecmAO prestalk cells. Migration of the cluster was also directional, suggesting the presence of another long-range guidance cue. Once at the mound apex, the cluster continued moving upward leading to protrusion of the mound's tip. To investigate the role of the cluster in tip protrusion, we examined ecmAO prestalk-cell sorting in a myosin II regulatory light chain (RLC) null in which tips fail to form. In RCC-null mounds, ecmAO prestalk cells formed an initial cluster that began to move to the mound apex, but then arrested as a vertical column that extended from the mound's apex to its base. Mixing experiments with wild-type cells demonstrated that the RLC-null ecmAO prestalk-cell defect is cell autonomous. These observations define a specific mechanism for myosin's function in tip formation, namely a mechanical role in the upward movement of the ecmAO prestalk cluster. The wild-type data demonstrate that cell sorting can occur in two steps, suggesting that, in this Ax3 strain, spatially and temporally distinct cues may guide prestalk cells first to an initial cluster and then later to the tip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2715-2728
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment
Volume127
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000

Keywords

  • Cell movement
  • Dictyostelium
  • Morphogenesis
  • Myosin
  • Prestalk cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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