Correlated waves of actin filaments and PIP3 in Dictyostelium cells

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2008 Dec;65(12):923-34. doi: 10.1002/cm.20314.


Chemotaxis-deficient amiB-null mutant Dictyostelium cells show two distinct movements: (1) they extend protrusions randomly without net displacements; (2) they migrate persistently and unidirectionally in a keratocyte-like manner. Here, we monitored the intracellular distribution of phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP(3)) to gain insight into roles PIP(3) plays in those spontaneous motilities. In keratocyte-like cells, PIP(3) showed convex distribution over the basal membrane, with no anterior enrichment. In stalled cells, as well as in wild type cells, PIP(3) repeated wave-like changes, including emergence, expansion and disappearance, on the basal membrane. The waves induced lamellipodia when they approached the cell edge, and the advancing speed of the waves was comparable to the migration speed of the keratocyte-like cells. LY294002, an inhibitor of PI3 kinase, abolished PIP(3) waves in stalled cells and stopped keratocyte-like cells. These results together suggested that keratocyte-like cells are "surfing" on the PIP(3) waves by coupling steady lamellipodial protrusions to the PIP(3) waves. Simultaneous live observation of actin filaments and PIP(3) in wild type or stalled amiB(-) cells indicated that the PIP(3) waves were correlated with wave-like distributions of actin filaments. Most notably, PIP(3) waves often followed actin waves, suggesting that PIP(3) induces local depolymerization of actin filaments. Consistent with this idea, cortical accumulation of PIP(3) was often correlated with local retraction of the periphery. We propose that the waves of PIP(3) and actin filaments are loosely coupled with each other and play important roles in generating spontaneous cell polarity.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / genetics
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / pharmacology
  • Chemotaxis* / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis* / genetics
  • Chromones / pharmacology
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Dictyostelium / genetics
  • Dictyostelium / physiology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Thiazolidines / pharmacology


  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Chromones
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Morpholines
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Thiazolidines
  • phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • latrunculin A