Abi mutants in Dictyostelium reveal specific roles for the SCAR/WAVE complex in cytokinesis

Alice Pollitt, RH Insall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


Actin polymerization drives multiple cell processes involving movement and shape change. SCAR/WAVE proteins connect signaling to actin polymerization through the activation of the Arp2/3 complex. SCAR/WAVE is normally found in a complex with four other proteins: PIR121, Nap1, Abi2, and HSPC300 (Figure S1A available online) [1-3]. However, there is no consensus as to whether the complex functions as an unchanging unit or if it alters its composition in response to stimulation, as originally proposed by Eden et al. [1]. It also is unclear whether complex members exclusively regulate SCAR/WAVEs or if they have additional targets [4-6]. Here, we analyze the roles of the unique Dictyostelium Abi. We find that abiA null mutants show less severe defects in motility than do scar null cells, indicating-unexpectedly-that SCAR retains partial activity in the absence of Abi. Furthermore, abiA null mutants have a serious defect in cytokinesis, which is not seen in other SCAR complex mutants and is seen only when SCAR itself is present. Detailed examination reveals that normal cytokinesis requires SCAR activity, apparently regulated through multiple pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


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