Maintenance of the shape and diameter of biological tubules is a critical task in the development and physiology of all metazoan organisms. We have cloned the exc-9 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans, which regulates the diameter of the single-cell excretory canal tubules. exc-9 encodes a homologue of the highly expressed mammalian intestinal LIM-domain protein CRIP, whose function has not previously been determined. A second well-conserved CRIP homologue functions in multiple valves of C. elegans. EXC-9 shows genetic interactions with other EXC proteins, including the EXC-5 guanine exchange factor that regulates CDC-42 activity. EXC-9 and its nematode homologue act in polarized epithelial cells that must maintain great flexibility at their apical surface; our results suggest that CRIPs function to maintain cytoskeletal flexibility at the apical surface.