Integrin acts upstream of netrin signaling to regulate formation of the anchor cell's invasive membrane in C. elegans.

Department of Biology, Duke University, Science Drive, Box 90388, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
Developmental Cell (Impact Factor: 12.86). 09/2009; 17(2):187-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2009.06.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Integrin expression and activity have been strongly correlated with developmental and pathological processes involving cell invasion through basement membranes. The role of integrins in mediating these invasions, however, remains unclear. Utilizing the genetically and visually accessible model of anchor cell (AC) invasion in C. elegans, we have recently shown that netrin signaling orients a specialized invasive cell membrane domain toward the basement membrane. Here, we demonstrate that the integrin heterodimer INA-1/PAT-3 plays a crucial role in AC invasion, in part by targeting the netrin receptor UNC-40 (DCC) to the AC's plasma membrane. Analyses of the invasive membrane components phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, the Rac GTPase MIG-2, and F-actin further indicate that INA-1/PAT-3 plays a broad role in promoting the plasma membrane association of these molecules. Taken together, these studies reveal a role for integrin in regulating the plasma membrane targeting and netrin-dependent orientation of a specialized invasive membrane domain.

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