Little is known about cell-substrate adhesion and how motile and adhesive forces work together in moving cells. The ability to rapidly screen a large number of insertional mutants prompted us to perform a genetic screen in Dictyostelium to isolate adhesion-deficient mutants. The resulting substrate adhesion-deficient (sad) mutants grew in plastic dishes without attaching to the substrate. The cells were often larger than their wild-type parents and displayed a rough surface with many apparent blebs. One of these mutants, sadA-, completely lacked substrate adhesion in growth medium. The sadA- mutant also showed slightly impaired cytokinesis, an aberrant F-actin organization, and a phagocytosis defect. Deletion of the sadA gene by homologous recombination recreated the original mutant phenotype. Expression of sadA-GFP in sadA-null cells restored the wild-type phenotype. In sadA-GFP-rescued mutant cells, sadA-GFP localized to the cell surface, appropriate for an adhesion molecule. SadA contains nine putative transmembrane domains and three conserved EGF-like repeats in a predicted extracellular domain. The EGF repeats are similar to corresponding regions in proteins known to be involved in adhesion, such as tenascins and integrins. Our data combined suggest that sadA is the first substrate adhesion receptor to be identified in Dictyostelium.
- Cell-substrate adhesion
- EGF-like repeats