B-LINK: A Hemicentin, Plakin, and Integrin-Dependent Adhesion System that Links Tissues by Connecting Adjacent Basement Membranes

Meghan A. Morrissey, Daniel P. Keeley, Elliott J. Hagedorn, Shelly T.H. McClatchey, Qiuyi Chi, David H. Hall, David R. Sherwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Basement membrane (BM), a sheet-like form of extracellular matrix, surrounds most tissues. Duringorganogenesis, specific adhesions between adjoining tissues frequently occur; however, their molecular basis is unclear. Using live-cell imaging and electron microscopy, we identify an adhesion system that connects the uterine and gonadal tissues through their juxtaposed BMs at the site of anchor cell (AC) invasion in C.elegans. We find that the extracellular matrix component hemicentin (HIM-4), found between BMs, forms punctate accumulations under the AC and controls BM linkage to promote rapid invasion. Through targeted screening, we identify the integrin-binding cytolinker plakin (VAB-10A) and integrin (INA-1/PAT-3) as key BM-BM linkage regulators: VAB-10A localizes to the AC-BM interface and tethers hemicentin to the AC while integrin promotes hemicentin punctae formation. Together, plakin, integrin, and hemicentin are founding components of a cell-directed adhesion system, which we name a BM-. LINKage (B-LINK), that connects adjacent tissues through adjoining BMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 10 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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