Role of a new Rho family member in cell migration and axon guidance in C. elegans

Cell. 1997 Sep 5;90(5):883-94. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80353-0.


Rho family GTPases are thought to regulate actin-dependent processes, but their functions in vivo are still poorly understood. We have investigated the function of a new, widely expressed Rho family member in C. elegans by analyzing mutations in the endogenous gene. Activated and null alleles all inhibit cell migration, demonstrating that this protein is required for cell migration in vivo. Only a small subset of the migrations inhibited by activating mutations are inhibited by null mutations, suggesting that considerable functional redundancy exists within this system. Our findings support this conclusion and show that mig-2 functions redundantly with another pathway to regulate nuclear migration. Surprisingly, activated alleles also cause misguided axon growth, suggesting that Rho family GTPases may couple guidance cues to process outgrowth.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Axons / chemistry
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / chemistry
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / analysis
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / genetics*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Helminth Proteins
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U82288