Calcium, cyclic GMP and the control of myosin II during chemotactic signal transduction ofDictyostelium
Evidence is presented for Ca2+ and cyclic GMP being involved in signal transduction between the cell surface cyclic AMP receptors and cytoskeletal myosin II involved in chemotactic cell movement. Ca2+ is shown to be required for chemotactic aggregation of amoebae. The evidence for uptake and/or eflux of this ion being regulated by the nucleotide cyclic GMP is discussed. The connection between Ca2+, cyclic GMP and chemotactic cell movement has been explored using “streamer F” mutants. The primary defect in these mutants is in the structural gene for the cyclic GMP-specific phosphodiesterase which results in the mutants producing an abnormally prolonged peak of accumulation of cyclic GMP in response to stimulation with the chernoattractant cyclic AMP. While events associated with production and relay of cyclic AMP signals are normal, certain events associated with movement are (like the cyclic GMP response) abnormally prolonged in the mutants. These events include Ca2+ uptake, myosin II association with the cytoskeleton and inhibition of myosin heavy and light chain phosphorylation. These changes can be correlated with the amoebae becoming elongated and transiently decreasing their locomotive speed after chemotactic stimulation. Other mutants studied in which the accumulation of cyclic GMP in response to cyclic AMP stimulation was absent produced no myosin II responses.
Models are described in which cyclic GMP (directly or indirectly via Ca2+) regulates accumulation of myosin II on the cytoskeleton by inhibiting phosphorylation of the myosin heavy and light chain kinases.