Genome Biology

, 1:spotlight-20001211-01 | Cite as

Slimy catenins

  • William Wells
Research news
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Keywords

Gene Expression Arabidopsis Thaliana Fruiting Body Related Protein Adherens Junction 

In the 7 December Nature Grimson et al. report that, like metazoans, the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum has a β-catenin involved both in signaling and in forming adherens junctions (Nature 2000, 408:727-731). The junctions form after the unicellular amoebae are starved and aggregate into a fruiting body, with junctions present only between cells at a constriction near the top of the stalk tube. In mutants lacking the β-catenin, most of the fruiting bodies collapse, and there is an additional signaling defect: a cell-autonomous failure to induce certain aspects of prespore gene expression. The existence of the Dictyostelium protein and a related protein in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana suggest that evolution of β-catenin may have been a prerequisite for all multicellular development.

References

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    Functional interaction of beta-catenin with the transcription factor LEF-1.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The molecular constituents of intercellular junctions.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© BioMed Central Ltd 2000

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  • William Wells

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