The VAB-1 Eph Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Functions in Neural and Epithelial Morphogenesis in C. Elegans

Cell. 1998 Mar 6;92(5):633-43. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81131-9.


Mutations in the C. elegans vab-1 gene disrupt the coordinated movements of cells during two periods of embryogenesis. vab-1 mutants are defective in the movement of neuroblasts during closure of the ventral gastrulation cleft and in the movements of epidermal cells during ventral enclosure of the embryo by the epidermis. We show that vab-1 encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase of the Eph family. Disruption of the kinase domain of VAB-1 causes weak mutant phenotypes, indicating that VAB-1 may have both kinase-dependent and kinase-independent activities. VAB-1 is expressed in neurons during epidermal enclosure and is required in these cells for normal epidermal morphogenesis, demonstrating that cell-cell interactions are required between neurons and epidermal cells for epidermal morphogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / enzymology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA, Helminth / genetics
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / embryology*
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Gastrula / cytology*
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Helminth Proteins / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mosaicism
  • Mutation
  • Nervous System / embryology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Phenotype
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA, Helminth
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • vab-1 protein, C elegans

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF040269