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Keywords:

  • midwife;
  • G protein;
  • myosin II;
  • PIP3;
  • cellular slime mold

Abstract

Interphase amoeba of Entamoeba invadens are attracted to the furrowing region of a neighboring dividing cell to assist with the division. A seemingly similar behavior has been observed in Dictyostelium discoideum, but in this case, it has not been shown whether the movements were truly directed toward the furrowing region or whether they have any relevance. We thus used myosin II-null cells, which spend more time than wild type cells in cytokinesis, and successfully demonstrated that nearly half of the division events involve the attraction of a neighbor cell to the furrowing region. Cells lacking the β subunit of the trimeric G protein (Gβ), which are incapable of chemotaxis, did not show such midwifery. Culturing wild type cells flattened under agarose sheets also slowed the cytokinesis process, and this allowed us to demonstrate that phosphatidylinositol trisphosphate was enriched in the anterior region of midwifing cells, consistent with the view that midwifery in D. discoideum is also chemotaxis. On substrates, while only 3.6% of wild type cells were multinucleate, 8.1% of Gβ-null cells were multinucleate, and this was reduced to 3.4% when they were surrounded by wild type cells. Conversely, multinucleated wild type cells increased to 6.8% when they were surrounded by Gβ-null cells. Thus, Gβ-null cells frequently fail to divide because they cannot assist each other's division and midwifery ensures successful cytokinesis in Dictyostelium discoideum. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.