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Science 287 (5455): 1034-1036

Copyright © 2000 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Localization of the G Protein beta gamma Complex in Living Cells During Chemotaxis

Tian Jin, Ning Zhang, Yu Long, Carole A. Parent, Peter N. Devreotes *

Gradients of chemoattractants elicit signaling events at the leading edge of a cell even though chemoattractant receptors are uniformly distributed on the cell surface. In highly polarized Dictyostelium discoideum amoebas, membrane-associated beta gamma subunits of heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) were localized in a shallow anterior-posterior gradient. A uniformly applied chemoattractant generated binding sites for pleckstrin homology (PH) domains on the inner surface of the membrane in a pattern similar to that of the Gbeta gamma subunits. Loss of cell polarity resulted in uniform distribution of both the Gbeta gamma subunits and the sensitivity of PH domain recruitment. These observations indicate that Gbeta gamma subunits are not sufficiently localized to restrict signaling events to the leading edge but that their distribution may determine the relative chemotactic sensitivity of polarized cells.

Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: pnd{at}

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