Local and spatially coordinated movements in Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae during chemotaxis

Cell. 1982 Feb;28(2):225-32. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(82)90340-3.


We have studied chemotaxis by individual Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae using strong, local gradients of the chemoattractant cyclic AMP. Gradients were provided by diffusion of cyclic AMP from a microneedle, which could be positioned at various points around the cell. Responses to changes in the gradient indicate how the cell is structurally organized for chemotactic movement. There is a polarity in the responsiveness of the surface to stimulation by cyclic AMP along the length of the amoeba. Furthermore, two aspects of chemotactic movement can be distinguished. The first response to cyclic AMP is a locally generated extension of a hyaline pseudopod from the region of the surface nearest the stimulus. The second response, is coordinated and separate from the first response. The coordination appears to depend on the nucleus or on the microtubule-organizing center.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis* / drug effects
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Dictyostelium / cytology
  • Dictyostelium / physiology*
  • Locomotion
  • Receptors, Cyclic AMP / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Receptors, Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP