The secreted Dictyostelium protein CfaD is a chalone Academic Article uri icon


  • Dictyostelium discoideum cells secrete CfaD, a protein that is similar to cathepsin proteases. Cells that lack cfaD proliferate faster and reach a higher stationary-phase density than wild-type cells, whereas cells that overexpress CfaD proliferate slowly and reach the stationary phase when at a low density. On a per-nucleus basis, CfaD affects proliferation but not growth. The drawback of not having CfaD is a reduced spore viability. Recombinant CfaD has no detectable protease activity but, when added to cells, inhibits the proliferation of wild-type and cfaD(-) cells. The secreted protein AprA also inhibits proliferation. AprA is necessary for the effect of CfaD on proliferation. Molecular-sieve chromatography indicates that in conditioned growth medium, the 60 kDa CfaD is part of a approximately 150 kDa complex, and both chromatography and pull-down assays suggest that CfaD interacts with AprA. These results suggest that two interacting proteins may function together as a chalone signal in a negative feedback loop that slows Dictyostelium cell proliferation.

author list (cited authors)

  • Bakthavatsalam, D., Brock, D. A., Nikravan, N. N., Houston, K. D., Hatton, R. D., & Gomer, R. H.

citation count

  • 35

publication date

  • July 2008