Complete Sequences and Expression Kinetics of racG, racH, racI and racJ Genes in Dictyostelium discoideum.

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Abstract

We sequenced and characterized the expression patterns of the genes (racG, racH, racI and racJ) in the Rho-family. The nucleotide sequences of these genes suggest that racI would be a pseudogene, while the other genes are likely to encode typical Rac proteins which contain either GTP-binding domain or CAAX prenylation motif as observed in other members of the family. The Northern blot analyses show that the expression patterns of these genes are distinctively regulated during development. The racG gene is expressed at almost the same level from the vegetative to the slug stage, but the amount of its transcript gradually decreases after culmination. Expression of the racJ gene is undetectable at the vegetative stage, becomes observable at the mound stage, reaches a peak at the slug stage and then suddenly disappears in the culmination stage. The racH gene is expressed in two forms of transcripts, both of which are undetectable at the vegetatively growing stage but abruptly increase in amount after starvation. Southern blot hybridization analysis demonstrates that these transcripts were derived from a single copy of the gene. Such distinct kinetics of the expression patterns suggests that these genes would have unique roles in Dictyostelium development.

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