mig-38, a novel gene that regulates distal tip cell turning during gonadogenesis in C. elegans hermaphrodites
ABSTRACT In Caenorhabditis elegans gonad morphogenesis, the final U-shapes of the two hermaphrodite gonad arms are determined by migration of the distal tip cells (DTCs). These somatic cells migrate in opposite directions on the ventral basement membrane until specific extracellular cues induce turning from ventral to dorsal and then centripetally toward the midbody region on the dorsal basement membrane. To dissect the mechanism of DTC turning, we examined the role of a novel gene, F40F11.2/mig-38, whose depletion by RNAi results in failure of DTC turning so that DTCs continue their migration away from the midbody region. mig-38 is expressed in the gonad primordium, and expression continues throughout DTC migration where it acts cell-autonomously to control DTC turning. RNAi depletion of both mig-38 and ina-1, which encodes an integrin adhesion receptor, enhanced the loss of turning phenotype indicating a genetic interaction between these genes. Furthermore, the integrin-associated protein MIG-15/Nck-interacting kinase (NIK) works with MIG-38 to direct DTC turning as shown by mig-38 RNAi with the mig-15(rh80) hypomorph. These results indicate that MIG-38 enhances the role of MIG-15 in integrin-dependent DTC turning. Knockdown of talin, a protein that is important for integrin activation, causes the DTCs to stop migration prematurely. When both talin and MIG-38 were depleted by RNAi treatment, the premature stop phenotype was suppressed. This suppression effect was reversed upon additional depletion of MIG-15 or its binding partner NCK-1. These results suggest that both talin and the MIG-15/NCK-1 complex promote DTC motility and that MIG-38 may act as a negative regulator of the complex. We propose a model to explain the dual role of MIG-38 in motility and turning.
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ABSTRACT: Background: The mechanisms that govern directional changes in cell migration are poorly understood. The migratory paths of two distal tip cells (DTC) determine the U-shape of the C. elegans hermaphroditic gonad. The morphogenesis of this organ provides a model system to identify genes necessary for the DTCs to execute two stereotyped turns. Results: Using candidate genes for RNAi knockdown in a DTC-specific strain, we identified two transcriptional regulators required for DTC turning: cbp-1, the CBP/p300 transcriptional coactivator homologue, and let-607, a CREBH transcription factor homologue. Further screening of potential target genes uncovered a network of integrin adhesion-related genes that have roles in turning and are dependent on cbp-1 and let-607 for expression. These genes include src-1/Src kinase, tln-1/talin, pat-2/α integrin and nmy-2, a non-muscle myosin heavy chain. Conclusions: Transcriptional regulation via cbp-1 and let-607 is crucial for determining directional changes during DTC migration. These regulators coordinate a gene network that is necessary for integrin-mediated adhesion. Overall, these results suggest that directional changes in cell migration rely on the precise gene regulation of adhesion. Developmental Dynamics, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Developmental Dynamics 08/2014; 243(8). DOI:10.1002/dvdy.24146 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Complex organ shapes arise from the coordinate actions of individual cells. The Drosophila egg chamber is an organ-like structure that lengthens along its anterior-posterior axis as it grows. This morphogenesis depends on an unusual form of planar polarity in the organ's outer epithelial layer, the follicle cells. Interestingly, this epithelium also undergoes a directed migration that causes the egg chamber to rotate around its anterior-posterior axis. However, the functional relationship between planar polarity and migration in this tissue is unknown. We have previously reported that mutations in the Misshapen kinase disrupt follicle cell planar polarity. Here we show that Misshapen's primary role in this system is to promote individual cell motility. Misshapen decreases integrin levels at the basal surface, which may facilitate detachment of each cell's trailing edge. These data provide mechanistic insight into Misshapen's conserved role in cell migration and suggest that follicle cell planar polarity may be an emergent property of individual cell migratory behaviors within the epithelium.The Journal of Cell Biology 03/2013; 200(6):721-729. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201209129 · 9.69 Impact Factor