Loss of Pikfyve causes Transdifferentiation of Dictyostelium Spores into Basal Disc Cells

Yoko Yamada, Gillian Forbes, Qingyou Du, Takefumi Kawata (Lead / Corresponding author), Pauline Schaap (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    27 Downloads (Pure)


    The 1-phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate 5-kinase PIKfyve generates PtdIns3,5P2 on late phagolysosomes, which by recruiting the scission protein Atg18, results in their fragmentation in the normal course of endosome processing. Loss of PIKfyve function causes cellular hypervacuolization in eukaryotes and organ failure in humans. We identified pikfyve as the defective gene in a Dictyostelium mutant that failed to form spores. The amoebas normally differentiated into prespore cells and initiated spore coat protein synthesis in Golgi-derived prespore vesicles. However, instead of exocytosing, the prespore vesicles fused into the single vacuole that typifies the stalk and basal disc cells that support the spores. This process was accompanied by stalk wall biosynthesis, loss of spore gene expression and overexpression of ecmB, a basal disc and stalk-specific gene, but not of the stalk-specific genes DDB_G0278745 and DDB_G0277757. Transdifferentiation of prespore into stalk-like cells was previously observed in mutants that lack early autophagy genes, like atg5, atg7, and atg9. However, while autophagy mutants specifically lacked cAMP induction of prespore gene expression, pikfyve showed normal early autophagy and prespore induction, but increased in vitro induction of ecmB. Combined, the data suggest that the Dictyostelium endosomal system influences cell fate by acting on cell type specific gene expression.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number692473
    Number of pages11
    JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2021


    • 1-phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate 5-kinase
    • Atg18
    • Dictyostelium
    • Vac14
    • cell-type specific gene expression
    • membrane scission
    • sporulation
    • vesicle trafficking

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental Biology
    • Cell Biology


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