Correlated waves of actin filaments and PIP3 in Dictyostelium cells

Yukako Asano, Akira Nagasaki, Taro Q.P. Uyeda

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53 Citations (Scopus)


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 (PIP3) to gain insight into roles PIP 3 plays in those spontaneous motilities. In keratocyte-like cells, PIP3 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 PIP3 waves in stalled cells and stopped keratocyte-like cells. These results together suggested that keratocyte-like cells are "surfing" on the PIP3 waves by coupling steady lamellipodial protrusions to the PIP3 waves. Simultaneous live observation of actin filaments and PIP3 in wild type or stalled amiB- cells indicated that the PIP3 waves were correlated with wave-like distributions of actin filaments. Most notably, PIP3 waves often followed actin waves, suggesting that PIP3 induces local depolymerization of actin filaments. Consistent with this idea, cortical accumulation of PIP3 was often correlated with local retraction of the periphery. We propose that the waves of PIP3 and actin filaments are loosely coupled with each other and play important roles in generating spontaneous cell polarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-934
Number of pages12
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Keratocyte
  • Oscillation
  • PI3 kinase
  • Spontaneous motility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology


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