A cell number-counting factor regulates group size in Dictyostelium by differentially modulating cAMP-induced cAMP and cGMP pulse sizes. Academic Article uri icon


  • A secreted counting factor (CF), regulates the size of Dictyostelium discoideum fruiting bodies in part by regulating cell-cell adhesion. Aggregation and the expression of adhesion molecules are mediated by relayed pulses of cAMP. Cells also respond to cAMP with a short cGMP pulse. We find that CF slowly down-regulates the cAMP-induced cGMP pulse by inhibiting guanylyl cyclase activity. A 1-min exposure of cells to purified CF increases the cAMP-induced cAMP pulse. CF does not affect the cAMP receptor or its interaction with its associated G proteins or the translocation of the cytosolic regulator of adenylyl cyclase to the membrane in response to cAMP. Pulsing streaming wild-type cells with a high concentration of cAMP results in the formation of small groups, whereas reducing cAMP pulse size with exogenous cAMP phosphodiesterase during stream formation causes cells to form large groups. Altering the extracellular cAMP pulse size does not phenocopy the effects of CF on the cAMP-induced cGMP pulse size or cell-cell adhesion, indicating that CF does not regulate cGMP pulses and adhesion via CF's effects on cAMP pulses. The results suggest that regulating cell-cell adhesion, the cGMP pulse size, or the cAMP pulse size can control group size and that CF regulates all three of these independently.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Tang, L., Ammann, R., Gao, T., & Gomer, R. H.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Tang, L||Ammann, R||Gao, T||Gomer, RH

publication date

  • January 2001