unc-53 controls longitudinal migration in C. elegans

Development. 2002 Jul;129(14):3367-79.

Abstract

Cell migration and outgrowth are thought to be based on analogous mechanisms that require repeated cycles of process extension, reading and integration of multiple directional signals, followed by stabilisation in a preferred direction, and renewed extension. We have characterised a C. elegans gene, unc-53, that appears to act cell autonomously in the migration and outgrowth of muscles, axons and excretory canals. Abrogation of unc-53 function disrupts anteroposterior outgrowth in those cells that normally express the gene. Conversely, overexpression of unc-53 in bodywall muscles leads to exaggerated outgrowth. UNC-53 is a novel protein conserved in vertebrates that contains putative SH3- and actin-binding sites. unc-53 interacts genetically with sem-5 and we demonstrated a direct interaction in vitro between UNC-53 and the SH2-SH3 adaptor protein SEM-5/GRB2. Thus, unc-53 is involved in longitudinal navigation and might act by linking extracellular guidance cues to the intracellular cytoskeleton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Base Sequence
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics*
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA, Helminth / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Helminth*
  • Male
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid

Substances

  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA, Helminth
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • UNC-53 protein, C elegans