We have identified limB, a gene encoding a novel LIM domain-containing protein, LIM2, in a screen for genes required for morphogenesis. limB null cells aggregate, although poorly, but they are unable to undergo morphogenesis, and the aggregates arrest at the mound stage. limB null cells exhibit an aberrant actin cytoskeleton and have numerous F-actin–enriched microspikes. The cells exhibit poor adhesion to a substratum and do not form tight cell–cell agglomerates in suspension. Furthermore, limB null cells are unable to properly polarize in chemoattractant gradients and move very poorly. Expression of limB from a prestalk-specific but not a presporespecific promoter complements the morphogenetic defects of the limB null strain, suggesting that the limB null cell developmental defect results from an inability to properly sort prestalk cells. LIM2 protein is enriched in the cortex of wild-type cells, although it does not colocalize with the actin cytoskeleton. Our analysis indicates that LIM2 is a new regulatory protein that functions to control rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton and is required for cell motility and chemotaxis. Our findings may be generally applicable to understanding pathways that control cell movement and morphogenesis in all multicellular organisms. Structure function studies on the LIM domain
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