In Dictyostelium discoideum Ax-2 cells, a specific checkpoint (PS point) from which cells enter the differentiation phase in response to starvation has been specified in the cell cycle. Using the differential display method, we isolated a novel gene, dia1 (differentiation-associated gene 1), that is specifically expressed in cells differentiating from the PS point. The dia1 mRNA has an open reading frame of 1,368 bp and is deduced to code for a 48.6 kDa protein (DIA1). The DIA1 protein is highly serine-rich and the serine residues are predominantly located in the C-terminal region. After the PSORT II search, the protein is predicted to be GPI-anchored at the plasma membrane. Unexpectedly, dia1 overexpression rather impaired the progression of differentiation, possibly coupled with the reduced expression of early genes such as cAMP receptor1 (car1). The inhibitory effect of dia1 expression on early differentiation was almost completely nullified by externally applied cAMP pulses. In contrast to dia1 overexpression, antisense RNA-mediated dia1 inactivation was found to enhance the initial step of cell differentiation, as exemplified by precocious expression of car1 and other early genes. We discuss the unique structure and function of DIA1 in relation to the cooperative development of cells during the establishment of multicellular organization.
Suppression of the growth/differentiation transition in Dictyostelium development by transient expression of a novel gene, dia1
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S. Hirose, Y. Inazu, S. Chae, Y. Maeda; Suppression of the growth/differentiation transition in Dictyostelium development by transient expression of a novel gene, dia1. Development 1 August 2000; 127 (15): 3263–3270. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.127.15.3263
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