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Expression of proteolytic enzymes during Dictyostelium discoideum spore germination

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The specific activity of cathepsin B-like, cathepsin D-like, and leucine aminopeptidase enzymes was measured in dormant, aging, and germinating spores of wild-type and mutant Dictyostelium discoideum.

The activity of leucine aminopeptidase was relatively constant during spore aging and spore germination. The level of cathepsin D-like activity was highest in young dormant spores but decreased during germination or aging.

The level of cathepsin B-like activity remained constant in wild-type spores which were aged for 13 days. The dormant spores of spontaneous germination mutants initially contained low levels of cathepsin B-like activity which increased during aging. Thus, there was no correlation between the level of endogenous cathepsin B activity and the ability to be autoactivated or heat-activated. The level of cathepsin B-like activity does not have a role in the generation of energy for the swelling stage of germination. Finally, the combined level of endogenous and exogenous cathepsin B activity increased more than 20-fold during the emergence of myxamoebae suggesting that the enzyme(s) may play a role at this development stage of germination.

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Correspondence to David A. Cotter.

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Jackson, D.P., Cotter, D.A. Expression of proteolytic enzymes during Dictyostelium discoideum spore germination. Arch. Microbiol. 137, 205–208 (1984).

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Key words

  • Dictyostelium discoideum
  • Spores
  • Germination
  • Cathepsin B
  • Cathepsin D
  • Leucine aminopeptidase