A Gα-Stimulated RapGEF Is a Receptor-Proximal Regulator of Dictyostelium Chemotaxis

Liu, Y., Lacal, J., Veltman, D. M., Fusetti, F., van Haastert, P. J. M., Firtel, R. A. & Kortholt, A., 2016, In : Developmental Cell. 37, 5, p. 458-472 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Chemotaxis, or directional movement toward extracellular chemical gradients, is an important property of cells that is mediated through G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Although many chemotaxis pathways downstream of Gβγ have been identified, few Gα effectors are known. Gα effectors are of particular importance because they allow the cell to distinguish signals downstream of distinct chemoattractant GPCRs. Here we identify GflB, a Gα2 binding partner that directly couples the Dictyostelium cyclic AMP GPCR to Rap1. GflB localizes to the leading edge and functions as a Gα-stimulated, Rap1-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor required to balance Ras and Rap signaling. The kinetics of GflB translocation are fine-tuned by GSK-3 phosphorylation. Cells lacking GflB display impaired Rap1/Ras signaling and actin and myosin dynamics, resulting in defective chemotaxis. Our observations demonstrate that GflB is an essential upstream regulator of chemoattractant-mediated cell polarity and cytoskeletal reorganization functioning to directly link Gα activation to monomeric G-protein signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-472
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • chemotaxis, G-protein signaling, GflB, Rap, Dictyostelium
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