Adenylyl cyclase A mRNA localized at the back of cells is actively translated in live chemotaxing Dictyostelium

J Cell Sci. 2018 May 4;131(9):jcs216176. doi: 10.1242/jcs.216176.


Dictyostelium discoideum cells transport adenylyl cyclase A (ACA)-containing vesicles to the back of polarized cells to relay exogenous cAMP signals during chemotaxis. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments showed that ACA mRNA is also asymmetrically distributed at the back of polarized cells. By using the MS2 bacteriophage system, we now visualize the distribution of ACA mRNA in live chemotaxing cells. We found that the ACA mRNA localization is not dependent on the translation of the protein product and requires multiple cis-acting elements within the ACA-coding sequence. We show that ACA mRNA is associated with actively translating ribosomes and is transported along microtubules towards the back of cells. By monitoring the recovery of ACA-YFP after photobleaching, we observed that local translation of ACA-YFP occurs at the back of cells. These data represent a novel functional role for localized translation in the relay of chemotactic signals during chemotaxis.

Keywords: Cell migration; Dictyostelium; Live imaging; Translation; mRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Chemotaxis / physiology
  • Dictyostelium / enzymology
  • Dictyostelium / genetics
  • Dictyostelium / metabolism
  • Dictyostelium / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Adenylyl Cyclases