mua-3, a gene required for mechanical tissue integrity in Caenorhabditis elegans, encodes a novel transmembrane protein of epithelial attachment complexes

Mark Bercher, Jim Wahl, Bruce E. Vogel, Charles Lu, Edward M. Hedgecock, David H. Hall, John D. Plenefisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Normal locomotion of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires transmission of contractile force through a series of mechanical linkages from the myofibrillar lattice of the body wall muscles, across an intervening extracellular matrix and epithelium (the hypodermis) to the cuticle. Mutations in mua-3 cause a separation of the hypodermis from the cuticle, suggesting this gene is required for maintaining hypodermal-cuticle attachment as the animal grows in size postembryonically. mua-3 encodes a predicted 3,767 amino acid protein with a large extracellular domain, a single transmembrane helix, and a smaller cytoplasmic domain. The extracellular domain contains four distinct protein modules: 5 low density lipoprotein type A, 52 epidermal growth factor, 1 von Willebrand factor A, and 2 sea urchin-enterokinase-agrin modules. MUA-3 localizes to the hypodermal hemidesmosomes and to other sites of mechanically robust transepithelial attachments, including the rectum, vulva, mechanosensory neurons, and excretory duct/pore. In addition, it is shown that MUA-3 colocalizes with cytoplasmic intermediate filaments (IFs) at these sites. Thus, MUA-3 appears to be a protein that links the IF cytoskeleton of nematode epithelia to the cuticle at sites of mechanical stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-426
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume154
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 2001

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Epithelial Attachment
Subcutaneous Tissue
Caenorhabditis elegans
Cytoskeleton
Epithelium
Agrin
Enteropeptidase
Hemidesmosomes
Intermediate Filament Proteins
Mechanical Stress
Vulva
Intermediate Filaments
Sea Urchins
von Willebrand Factor
Locomotion
LDL Lipoproteins
Rectum
Epidermal Growth Factor
Genes
Extracellular Matrix

Keywords

  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell-adhesion
  • Epidermis
  • Extracellular matrix receptors
  • Intermediate filaments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Cite this

mua-3, a gene required for mechanical tissue integrity in Caenorhabditis elegans, encodes a novel transmembrane protein of epithelial attachment complexes. / Bercher, Mark; Wahl, Jim; Vogel, Bruce E.; Lu, Charles; Hedgecock, Edward M.; Hall, David H.; Plenefisch, John D.

In: Journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 154, No. 2, 23.07.2001, p. 415-426.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bercher, Mark ; Wahl, Jim ; Vogel, Bruce E. ; Lu, Charles ; Hedgecock, Edward M. ; Hall, David H. ; Plenefisch, John D. / mua-3, a gene required for mechanical tissue integrity in Caenorhabditis elegans, encodes a novel transmembrane protein of epithelial attachment complexes. In: Journal of Cell Biology. 2001 ; Vol. 154, No. 2. pp. 415-426.
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