Developmental biology

Absence of catalytic domain in a putative protein kinase C (PkcA) suppresses tip dominance in Dictyostelium discoideum.

PMID 26183108


A number of organisms possess several isoforms of protein kinase C but little is known about the significance of any specific isoform during embryogenesis and development. To address this we characterized a PKC ortholog (PkcA; DDB_G0288147) in Dictyostelium discoideum. pkcA expression switches from prestalk in mound to prespore in slug, indicating a dynamic expression pattern. Mutants lacking the catalytic domain of PkcA (pkcA(-)) did not exhibit tip dominance. A striking phenotype of pkcA- was the formation of an aggregate with a central hollow, and aggregates later fragmented to form small mounds, each becoming a fruiting body. Optical density wave patterns of cAMP in the late aggregates showed several cAMP wave generation centers. We attribute these defects in pkcA(-) to impaired cAMP signaling, altered cell motility and decreased expression of the cell adhesion molecules - CadA and CsaA. pkcA(-) slugs showed ectopic expression of ecmA in the prespore region. Further, the use of a PKC-specific inhibitor, GF109203X that inhibits the activity of catalytic domain phenocopied pkcA(-).