Comparative analysis of spore coat formation, structure, and function in Dictyostelium

Int Rev Cytol. 2003;222:237-93. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(02)22016-1.


Dictyostelium produces spores at the end of its developmental cycle to propagate the lineage. The spore coat is an essential feature of spore biology contributing a semipermeable chemical and physical barrier to protect the enclosed amoeba. The coat is assembled from secreted proteins and a polysaccharide, and from cellulose produced at the cell surface. They are organized into a polarized molecular sandwich with proteins forming layers surrounding the microfibrillar cellulose core. Genetic and biochemical studies are beginning to provide insight into how the deliveries of protein and cellulose to the cell surface are coordinated and how cysteine-rich domains of the proteins interact to form the layers. A multidomain inner layer protein, SP85/PsB, seems to have a central role in regulating coat assembly and contributing to a core structural module that bridges proteins to cellulose. Coat formation and structure have many parallels in walls from plant, algal, yeast, protist, and animal cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Cellulose / chemistry
  • Cellulose / metabolism
  • Dictyostelium / classification
  • Dictyostelium / genetics
  • Dictyostelium / growth & development
  • Dictyostelium / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Protozoan Proteins / physiology
  • Spores, Protozoan / growth & development
  • Spores, Protozoan / physiology
  • Spores, Protozoan / ultrastructure


  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Cellulose