Debra A Brock

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Developing Dictyostelium cells form large aggregation streams that break up into groups of 0.2 x 10(5) to 1 x 10(5) cells. Each group then becomes a fruiting body. smlA cells oversecrete an unknown factor that causes aggregation streams to break up into groups of approximately 5 x 10(3) cells and thus form very small fruiting bodies. We have purified the(More)
Many cells appear to secrete factors called chalones that limit their proliferation, but in most cases the factors have not been identified. We found that growing Dictyostelium cells secrete a 60 kDa protein called AprA for autocrine proliferation repressor. AprA has similarity to putative bacterial proteins of unknown function. Compared with wild-type(More)
Dictyostelium discoideum cells secrete CfaD, a protein that is similar to cathepsin proteases. Cells that lack cfaD proliferate faster and reach a higher stationary-phase density than wild-type cells, whereas cells that overexpress CfaD proliferate slowly and reach the stationary phase when at a low density. On a per-nucleus basis, CfaD affects(More)
Agricultural crops are investments that can be exploited by others. Farmer clones of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum carry bacteria to seed out new food populations but they also carry other non-food bacteria such as Burkholderia spp. Here we demonstrate that these farmer-carried Burkholderia inhibit the growth of non-farmer D. discoideum clones(More)
Dictyostelium Crp is a member of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) family of proteins. It is most related in sequence to mammalian Cdk5, which unlike other members of the family, has functions that are unrelated to the cell cycle. In order to better understand the function of Crp in Dictyostelium, we overexpressed a dominant negative form, Crp-D144N, under(More)
Agriculture has been a large part of the ecological success of humans. A handful of animals, notably the fungus-growing ants, termites and ambrosia beetles, have advanced agriculture that involves dispersal and seeding of food propagules, cultivation of the crop and sustainable harvesting. More primitive examples, which could be called husbandry because(More)
In Dictyostelium, initial cell type choice is correlated with the cell-cycle phase of the cell at the time of starvation. We have isolated a mutant, ratioA (rtoA), with a defect in this mechanism that results in an abnormally high percentage of prestalk cells. The rtoA gene has been cloned and sequenced and codes for a novel protein. The cell cycle is(More)
We have developed a mutagenesis technique that uses antisense cDNA to identify genes required for development in Dictyostelium discoideum. We transformed Dictyostelium cells with a cDNA library made from the mRNA of vegetative and developing cells. The cDNA was cloned in an antisense orientation immediately downstream of a vegetative promoter, so that in(More)
Developing Dictyostelium cells aggregate to form fruiting bodies containing typically 2 x 10(4) cells. To prevent the formation of an excessively large fruiting body, streams of aggregating cells break up into groups if there are too many cells. The breakup is regulated by a secreted complex of polypeptides called counting factor (CF). Countin and CF50 are(More)
Starved Dictyostelium cells aggregate into groups of roughly 10(5) cells. We have identified a gene which, when repressed by antisense transformation or homologous recombination, causes starved cells to form large numbers of small aggregates. We call the gene smlA for small aggregates. A roughly 1.0 kb smlA mRNA is expressed in vegetative and early(More)