Chemotactic stimulation of Dictyostelium cells results in a transient increase in cGMP levels, and transient phosphorylation of myosin II heavy and regulatory light chains. In Dictyostelium, two guanylyl cyclases and four candidate cGMP-binding proteins (GbpA- GbpD) are implicated in cGMP signalling. GbpA and GbpB are homologous proteins with a Zn2+-hydrolase domain. A double gbpA/gbpB gene disruption leads to a reduction of cGMP-phosphodiesterase activity and a 10-fold increase of basal and stimulated cGMP levels. Chemotaxis in gbpA(-)B(-) cells is associated with increased myosin II phosphorylation compared with wild-type cells; formation of lateral pseudopodia is suppressed resulting in enhanced chemotaxis. GbpC is homologous to GbpD, and contains Ras, MAPKKK and Ras-GEF domains. Inactivation of the gbp genes indicates that only GbpC harbours high affinity cGMP-binding activity. Myosin phosphorylation, assembly of myosin in the cytoskeleton as well as chemotaxis are severely impaired in mutants lacking GbpC and GbpD, or mutants lacking both guanylyl cyclases. Thus, a novel cGMP signalling cascade is critical for chemotaxis in Dictyostelium, and plays a major role in myosin II regulation during this process.