A second UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase is required for differentiation and development in Dictyostelium discoideum. Academic Article uri icon


  • Uridine diphosphoglucose pyrophosphorylase (UDPGP) is a developmentally regulated enzyme in Dictyostelium discoideum, which is involved in trehalose, cellulose, and glycogen synthesis. Two independent UDPGP proteins are believed to be responsible for this activity. To determine the relative contributions of each protein, the genes encoding them were disrupted individually. Cells lacking the udpgp1 gene exhibit normal growth and development and make normal levels of cellulose. In agreement with these phenotypes, udpgp1(-) cells still have UDPGP activity, although at a reduced level. This supports the importance of the second UDPGP gene. This newly identified gene, ugpB, encodes an active UDPGP as determined by complementation in Escherichia coli. When this gene is disrupted, cells undergo aberrant differentiation and development ending with small, gnarled fruiting bodies. These cells also have decreased spore viability and decreased levels of glycogen, whose production requires UDPGP activity. These phenotypes suggest that UgpB constitutes the major UDPGP activity produced during development. Sequence analysis of the two UDPGP genes shows that UgpB has higher homology to other eukaryotic UDPGPs than does UDPGP1. This includes the presence of 5 conserved lysine residues. Udpgp1 only has 1 of these lysines.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Bishop, J. D., Moon, B. C., Harrow, F., Ratner, D., Gomer, R. H., Dottin, R. P., & Brazill, D. T.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Bishop, John D||Moon, Byoung C||Harrow, Faith||Ratner, David||Gomer, Richard H||Dottin, Robert P||Brazill, Derrick T

publication date

  • January 2002