Isoprenylcysteine carboxy methylation is essential for development in Dictyostelium discoideum

Ying Chen, Kyle J. McQuade, Xiao Juan Guan, Peter A. Thomason, Michael S. Wert, Jeffry B. Stock, Edward C. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Members of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases and the heterotrimeric G protein γ subunit are methylated on their carboxy-terminal cysteine residues by isoprenylcysteine methyltransferase. In Dictyostelium discoideum, small GTPase methylation occurs seconds after stimulation of starving cells by cAMP and returns quickly to basal levels, suggesting an important role in cAMP-dependent signaling. Deleting the isoprenylcysteine methyltransferase- encoding gene causes dramatic defects. Starving mutant cells do not propagate cAMP waves in a sustained manner, and they do not aggregate. Motility is rescued when cells are pulsed with exogenous cAMP, or coplated with wild-type cells, but the rescued cells exhibit altered polarity. cAMP-pulsed methyltransferase- deficient cells that have aggregated fail to differentiate, but mutant cells plated in a wild-type background are able to do so. Localization of and signaling by RasG is altered in the mutant. Localization of the heterotrimeric Gγ protein subunit was normal, but signaling was altered in mutant cells. These data indicate that isoprenylcysteine methylation is required for intercellular signaling and development in Dictyostelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4106-4118
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Isoprenylcysteine carboxy methylation is essential for development in Dictyostelium discoideum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this