Adenylyl Cyclase A mRNA Localization during

Dictyostelium Chemotaxis

Dicty ACA mRNA.png

A variety of cells are able to migrate towards chemical gradients, a process which is termed as chemotaxis. It is fundamental to many biological and pathological processes, including wound healing, embryo development, immune responses, and cancer metastasis. Chemotaxis is also essential for the lifecycle of social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum cells. When the nutrients are depleted in the environment, starvation induces the Dictyostelium cells to enter a developmental program, in which they release chemoattractant 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The released cAMP can further be sensed by neighbor cells and attract them towards the signal center in a head-to-tail steaming manner. The adenylyl cyclase A (ACA), an enzyme which is essential for cAMP production, has been shown to be enriched at the back of streaming Dictyostelium cells. This enrichment of ACA at the back of cells is also critical for streaming. Using an advanced live-cell mRNA imaging system, we found that ACA mRNA is also asymmetrically localized at the back of live chemotaxing Dictyostelium cells through the transportation along microtubules. Further, we showed that these localized ACA mRNA molecules are under active translation. 

Representative publication:

  • Weiye Wang, Song Chen, Satarupa Das, Wolfgang Losert and Carole A. Parent*, Adenylyl Cyclase A mRNA Localized at the Back of  Cells is Actively Translated in Live Chemotaxing Dictyostelium, J Cell Sci, 2018 131: jcs216176