pat-4/ILKandunc-112/Mig-2are required for gonad function inCaenorhabditis elegans

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Tissue morphogenesis requires proper interaction between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is mediated by αβ heterodimeric receptor integrin. In Caenorhabditis elegans, integrin signaling is essential for formation of gonad. Here, we probe the role of several integrin-associated molecules in ovulation and cell migration. Function of pat-4/integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and unc-112/Mig-2 was examined using RNA-mediated interference (RNAi). Depletion of these messages caused oocyte accumulation in the proximal gonad and distal tip cells (DTC) migration defects. It was further determined that failed ovulation was due to defective contraction and dilation of somatic gonad structures, including spermatheca and gonad sheath. Actin cytoskeleton in the proximal gonad of RNAi animals appeared disorganized, indicating that RNAi of pat-4 or unc-112 inhibited the overall assembly of actin cytoskeleton in somatic gonad. Taken together, our analysis confirms the role of integrin and integrin-associated proteins in gonad function.

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