Abe, Tomoaki; Early, Anne; Siegert, Florian; Weijer, Cornelis J.; Williams, Jeffrey
Patterns of cell movement within the Dictyostelium slug revealed by cell type-specific, surface labeling of living cells.
In: Cell, Vol. 77, No. 5: pp. 687-699
There are cells acattered in the rear, prespore region of the Dictyostelium slug that share many of the properties of the prestalk cells and that are therefore called anterior-like cells (ALCs). By placing the gene encoding a cell surface protein under the control of an ALC-specific promoter and immunologically labeling the living cells, we analyze the movement of ALCs within the slug. There is a posterior to anterior cellular flow, and the ALCs change their movement pattern as they enter the prestalk zone. Prestalk cells are periodically shed from the migrating slug. They must be replaced if the correct ratio of prestalk to prespore cells is to be maintained, and we present evidence for the trans-differentiation of prespore into prestalk cells, with ALCs functioning as intermediates in the transition. The slug has, therefore, a surprisingly dynamic structure, both with respect to cellular differentiation and cell movement.