The ROCO kinase QkgA is necessary for proliferation inhibition by autocrine signals in Dictyostelium discoideum. Academic Article uri icon


  • AprA and CfaD are secreted proteins that function as autocrine signals to inhibit cell proliferation in Dictyostelium discoideum. Cells lacking AprA or CfaD proliferate rapidly, and adding AprA or CfaD to cells slows proliferation. Cells lacking the ROCO kinase QkgA proliferate rapidly, with a doubling time 83% of that of the wild type, and overexpression of a QkgA-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein slows cell proliferation. We found that qkgA(-) cells accumulate normal levels of extracellular AprA and CfaD. Exogenous AprA or CfaD does not slow the proliferation of cells lacking qkgA, and expression of QkgA-GFP in qkgA(-) cells rescues this insensitivity. Like cells lacking AprA or CfaD, cells lacking QkgA tend to be multinucleate, accumulate nuclei rapidly, and show a mass and protein accumulation per nucleus like those of the wild type, suggesting that QkgA negatively regulates proliferation but not growth. Despite their rapid proliferation, cells lacking AprA, CfaD, or QkgA expand as a colony on bacteria less rapidly than the wild type. Unlike AprA and CfaD, QkgA does not affect spore viability following multicellular development. Together, these results indicate that QkgA is necessary for proliferation inhibition by AprA and CfaD, that QkgA mediates some but not all of the effects of AprA and CfaD, and that QkgA may function downstream of these proteins in a signal transduction pathway regulating proliferation.

published proceedings

  • Eukaryot Cell

author list (cited authors)

  • Phillips, J. E., & Gomer, R. H.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Phillips, Jonathan E||Gomer, Richard H

publication date

  • October 2010