Surface particle transport mechanism independent of myosin II in Dictyostelium

Nature. 1992 Apr 2;356(6368):438-40. doi: 10.1038/356438a0.


Cellular locomotion could be driven by the rearward transport of membrane-bound particles observed on motile fibroblasts, keratinocytes and neuronal growth cones. A force propelling free surface particles backwards could move the cell forwards if the particles were anchored to a rigid substratum. During capping, myosin II ('double-headed' myosin) draws crosslinked membrane proteins to the rear of a cell. The mhcA- mutant of the amoebal stage of the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum, in which the myosin II gene has been deleted, cannot cap surface particles but can crawl along the substratum. Thus, the mechanism driving capping is not essential for locomotion. We show here that the null mutant is capable of a different type of active rearward transport, independent of myosin II and distinct from capping. The transported particles on mhcA- cells follow parallel paths. In the wild-type Ax2 strain, myosin II causes particles to converge towards a focal point and significantly increases the velocity of transport behind the leading edge of the cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Dictyostelium / genetics
  • Dictyostelium / physiology*
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Kinetics
  • Myosins / genetics
  • Myosins / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Actins
  • Myosins