Differentiation-inducing factor-1 and -2 (DIF-1 and DIF-2) are small lipophilic signal molecules that control both cell differentiation and chemotaxis in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. In this study, we examined the effects of four amide derivatives of DIF-1 on stalk cell differentiation and chemotaxis. The DIF derivatives differentially affected cell differentiation and chemotaxis, suggesting the possible existence of at least three receptors for DIFs: one receptor responsible for stalk cell induction, and two receptors responsible for chemotaxis modulation. Furthermore, our results indicate that DIF derivatives can be utilized to analyze the DIF-signaling pathways.
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