Research NewsDevelopmental Biology

One Molecule Orchestrates Amoebae

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Science  11 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5323, pp. 182
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5323.182

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Biologists have struggled for years to understand the signals that coordinate the amoebalike cells of Dictyostelium. When food is scarce, these cells band together to form a mound that crawls to better pastures, then disperse by building a stalk and a spore body. On page 251, researchers show that a single molecule—an enzyme called PKA—can single-handedly drive all steps of development.