Dictyostelium discoideum as a Model to Study Inositol Polyphosphates and Inorganic Polyphosphate

  • Yann Desfougères
  • Adolfo SaiardiEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2091)


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has given us much information on the metabolism and function of inositol polyphosphates and inorganic polyphosphate. To expand our knowledge of the metabolic as well as functional connections between inositol polyphosphates and inorganic polyphosphate, we have refined and developed techniques to extract and analyze these molecules in a second eukaryotic experimental model, the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. This amoeba, possessing a well-defined developmental program, is ideal to study physiological changes in the levels of inositol polyphosphates and inorganic polyphosphate, since levels of both molecules increase at late stages of development. We detail here the methods used to extract inositol polyphosphates using perchloric acid and inorganic polyphosphate using acidic phenol. We also present the postextraction procedures to visualize and quantify these molecules by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and by malachite green assay.

Key words

Inositol polyphosphate Extraction DAPI staining Toluidine blue Electrophoresis polyP Inositol pyrophosphate Phytic acid 



We thank the Saiardi lab for suggestions and reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) core support to the MRC/UCL Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology University Unit MC_UU_12018/4 and MC_UU_00012/4. YD was supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant (agreement PHEMDD No 752903).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell BiologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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