Molecular genetics of signal transduction in Dictyostelium

Annu Rev Biochem. 1996;65:411-40. doi: 10.1146/


In conditions of starvation, the free living amoebae of Dictyostelium enter a developmental program: The cells aggregate by chemotaxis to form a multicellular structure that undergoes morphogenesis and cell-type differentiation. These processes are mediated by a family of cell surface cAMP receptors (cARs) that act on a specific heterotrimeric G protein to stimulate actin polymerization, activation of adenylyl and guanylyl cyclases, and a host of other responses. Most of the components in these pathways have mammalian counterparts. The accessible genetics of this unicellular organism facilitate structure-function analysis and enable the discovery of novel genes involved in the regulation of these important pathways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dictyostelium / genetics*
  • Dictyostelium / growth & development
  • Dictyostelium / metabolism
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*


  • Receptors, Cyclic AMP
  • GTP-Binding Proteins