Deborah J Wessels

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Dictyostelium amebae have been engineered by homologous recombination of a truncated copy of the myosin heavy chain gene (heavy meromyosin (HMM) cells) and by transformation with a vector encoding an antisense RNA to myosin heavy chain mRNA (mhcA cells) so that they lack native myosin heavy chain protein. In the former case, cells synthesize only the heavy(More)
BACKGROUND The initial stages of phagocytosis and cell motility resemble each other. The extension of a pseudopod at the leading edge of a migratory cell and the formation of a phagocytic cup are actin dependent, and each rely on the plasma membrane adhering to a surface during dynamic extension. RESULTS A myosin VII null mutant exhibited a drastic loss(More)
Dictyostelium strains in which the gene encoding the cytoplasmic cAMP phosphodiesterase RegA is inactivated form small aggregates. This defect was corrected by introducing copies of the wild-type regA gene, indicating that the defect was solely the consequence of the loss of the phosphodiesterase. Using a computer-assisted motion analysis system, regA(-)(More)
Chemotactic stimulation of Dictyostelium cells results in a transient increase in cGMP levels, and transient phosphorylation of myosin II heavy and regulatory light chains. In Dictyostelium, two guanylyl cyclases and four candidate cGMP-binding proteins (GbpA- GbpD) are implicated in cGMP signalling. GbpA and GbpB are homologous proteins with a(More)
Cell behavior is three-dimensional (3-D), even when it takes place on a flat surface. Migrating cells form pseudopods on and off the substratum, and the cell body undergoes height changes associated with a 1 min behavior cycle. Inside the cell, the nucleus has a 3-D migratory cycle, and vesicles move up and down in the z-axis as a cell locomotes. For these(More)
We have examined the function of a member of the vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein family of proteins (DdVASP) in Dictyostelium. Ddvasp null cells lack filopodia, whereas targeting DdVASP to the plasma membrane with a myristoyl tag results in a significant increase in filopodia. The proline-rich domain-Ena/VASP homology 2 structure is required for both(More)
The instantaneous velocity plots of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae responding to natural waves and simulated temporal waves of cAMP with periods of 7 min are highly similar. This similarity has been used to deduce the dynamics of a natural wave crossing an amoeba, and the behavior of amoebae has been characterized during the different phases of a natural(More)
Newly developed software additions to the three-dimensional dynamic image analysis system, 3D-DIAS, are described for simultaneously reconstructing and motion analyzing in three dimensions the outer surface, nucleus and pseudopods of living, crawling cells. This new system is then used to describe for the first time a nuclear behavior cycle in translocating(More)
It was recently demonstrated that strains homozygous for either of the mating type-like loci MTLa and MTLalpha of Candida albicans undergo white-opaque switching and that expression of the opaque-phase phenotype greatly enhances mating between strains. Exploiting the latter property to obtain high-frequency mating, we have characterized the cell biology of(More)
It has been suggested that the phosphatydylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate [PtdIns(3,4,5)P(3)] phosphatase and tensin homolog PTEN plays a fundamental role in Dictyostelium discoideum chemotaxis. To identify that role, the behavior of a pten(-) mutant was quantitatively analyzed using two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer-assisted methods. pten(-)(More)