UNC-5, a transmembrane protein with immunoglobulin and thrombospondin type 1 domains, guides cell and pioneer axon migrations in C. elegans

Cell. 1992 Oct 16;71(2):289-99. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(92)90357-i.


The unc-5 gene is required for guiding pioneering axons and migrating cells along the body wall in C. elegans. In mutants, dorsal migrations are disrupted, but ventral and longitudinal movements are largely unaffected. The gene was tagged for molecular cloning by transposon insertions. Based on genomic and cDNA sequencing, the gene encodes UNC-5, a transmembrane protein of 919 aa. The predicted extracellular N-terminus comprises two immunoglobulin and two thrombospondin type 1 domains. Except for an SH3-like motif, the large intracellular C-terminus is novel. Mosaic analysis shows that unc-5 acts in migrating cells and pioneering neurons. We propose that UNC-5 is a transmembrane receptor expressed on the surface of motile cells and growth cones to guide dorsal movements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cell Movement
  • Epitopes
  • Helminth Proteins / chemistry*
  • Immunoglobulins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • RNA Splicing
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Thrombospondins


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Epitopes
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Thrombospondins
  • UNC-5 protein, C elegans

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S47134
  • GENBANK/S47135
  • GENBANK/S47136
  • GENBANK/S47137
  • GENBANK/S47164
  • GENBANK/S47165
  • GENBANK/S47166
  • GENBANK/S47167
  • GENBANK/S47168
  • GENBANK/S72771