Secreted cyclic di-GMP induces stalk cell differentiation in the eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum

Zhi hui Chen, Pauline Schaap (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is currently recognized as the most widely used intracellular signal molecule in prokaryotes, but roles in eukaryotes were only recently discovered. In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, c-di-GMP, produced by a prokaryote-type diguanylate cyclase, induces the differentiation of stalk cells, thereby enabling the formation of spore-bearing fruiting bodies. In this review, we summarize the currently known mechanisms that control the major life cycle transitions of Dictyostelium and focus particularly on the role of c-di-GMP in stalk formation. Stalk cell differentiation has characteristics of autophagic cell death, a process that also occurs in higher eukaryotes. We discuss the respective roles of c-di-GMP and of another signal molecule, differentiation-inducing factor 1, in autophagic cell death in vitro and in stalk formation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number1
Early online date26 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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