Cell communication by periodic cyclic-AMP pulses

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
G GerischU Wick


At the surface of aggregating cells of the slime mould, Dictyostelium discoideum, two different sites interacting with extracellular cAMP are detectable: binding sites and cycl-nucleotide phosphodiesterase. Both sites are developmentally regulated. An adequate stimulus for the chemoreceptor system in D. discoideum is the change of cAMP concentration in time, rather than concentration per se: long-term binding of cAMP causes only short-term response. The system is, consequently, adapted to the recognition of pulses rather than to steady-state concentrations of cAMP. The ce,lls are, nevertheless, able to sense stationary spatial gradients and to respond to them by chemotactic orientation. The possibility is discussed that they do so by transforming spatial concentration changes into temporal ones, using extending pseudopods as sensors. The cAMP recognition system is part of a molecular network involved in the generation of spatio-temporal patterns of cellular activities. This system controls the periodic formation of chemotactic signals and their propagation from cell to cell. The phosphodiesterase limits the duration of the cAMP pulses and thus sharply separates the periods of signalling; the binding sites at the cell surface ar...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Cyclic AMP, (R)-Isomer
Cell Aggregation
Dictyostelium discoideum
Cyclic GMP
Receptors, Drug
3',5'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase

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