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The mechanism of eukaryotic chemotaxis remains unclear despite intensive study. The most frequently described mechanism acts through attractants causing actin polymerization, in turn leading to pseudopod formation and cell movement. We recently proposed an alternative mechanism, supported by several lines of data, in which pseudopods are made by a(More)
WASP family proteins control actin polymerization by activating the Arp2/3 complex. Several subfamilies exist, but their regulation and physiological roles are not well understood, nor is it even known if all subfamilies have been identified. Our extensive search reveals few novel WASP family proteins. The WASP, WASH, and SCAR/WAVE subfamilies are(More)
WASH causes actin to polymerize on vesicles involved in retrograde traffic and exocytosis. It is found within a regulatory complex, but the physiological roles of the other four members are unknown. Here we present genetic analysis of the subunits' individual functions in Dictyostelium. Mutants in each subunit are completely blocked in exocytosis. All(More)
There has been a growing appreciation over the last decade that chemotaxis plays an important role in cancer migration, invasion and metastasis. Research into the field of cancer cell chemotaxis is still in its infancy and traditional investigative tools have been developed with other cell types and purposes in mind. Direct visualisation chambers are(More)
Under normal conditions, the Arp2/3 complex activator SCAR/WAVE controls actin polymerization in pseudopods, whereas Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) assembles actin at clathrin-coated pits. We show that, unexpectedly, Dictyostelium discoideum SCAR knockouts could still spread, migrate, and chemotax using pseudopods driven by the Arp2/3 complex. In(More)
Chemotaxis is the ability of cells to move in the direction of an external gradient of signaling molecules. Cells are guided by actin-filled protrusions in the front, whereas myosin filaments retract the rear of the cell. Previous work demonstrated that chemotaxis of unpolarized amoeboid Dictyostelium discoideum cells is mediated by two parallel pathways,(More)
BACKGROUND The uptake of particles by actin-powered invagination of the plasma membrane is common to protozoa and to phagocytes involved in the immune response of higher organisms. The question addressed here is how a phagocyte may use geometric cues to optimize force generation for the uptake of a particle. We survey mechanisms that enable a phagocyte to(More)
The high mortality of melanoma is caused by rapid spread of cancer cells, which occurs unusually early in tumour evolution. Unlike most solid tumours, thickness rather than cytological markers or differentiation is the best guide to metastatic potential. Multiple stimuli that drive melanoma cell migration have been described, but it is not clear which are(More)
In eukaryotic chemotaxis, the mechanisms connecting external signals to the motile apparatus remain unclear. The role of the lipid phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP₃) has been particularly controversial. PIP₃ has many cellular roles, notably in growth control and macropinocytosis as well as cell motility. Here we show that PIP₃ is not only(More)
Rap proteins belong to the Ras family of small G-proteins. Dictyostelium RapA is essential and implicated in processes throughout the life cycle. In early development and chemotaxis competent cells RapA induces pseudopod formation by activating PI3K and it regulates substrate attachment and myosin disassembly via the serine/threonine kinase Phg2. RapA is(More)