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Gene Review

unc-73  -  Protein UNC-73

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on unc-73

  • unc-73 is required for cell migrations and axon guidance in C. elegans and encodes overlapping isoforms of 283 and 189 kDa that are closely related to the vertebrate Trio and Kalirin proteins, respectively [1].
  • Biochemical and genetic data also suggest that unc-73, which encodes a Trio-like guanine nucleotide exchange factor, may act as an activator of rho-1 in the migration process [2].
  • RAC GTPase genes mig-2 and ced-10 probably function redundantly, whereas unc-73, which encodes a GEF for both of these GTPases, is required cell autonomously for preventing anterior displacement of ray 1 cells [3].
  • Mutations in unc-73 (a Trio-like guanine nucleotide exchange factor) cause similar vulval defects, suggesting that UNC-73 is an exchange factor for both CED-10 and MIG-2 [4].
  • Our biochemical and genetic data indicate that unc-73, which encodes a protein related to Trio-like guanine nucleotide exchange factor, acts as a direct activator of ced-10 and mig-2 during P cell migration and axon outgrowth of D type motoneurons and amphid sensory neurons [5].

Biological context of unc-73


Anatomical context of unc-73

  • Here we show that mutations in unc-53, unc-71, and unc-73 disrupt sex myoblast positioning in the absence of the gonad, while they do not affect positioning in the presence of the gonad [8].

Other interactions of unc-73

  • Mutations in sem-5 confer dramatic sex myoblast positioning defects in double mutant combinations with unc-53, unc-71, or unc-73 mutations, even in the presence of the gonad [8].


  1. UNC-73 activates the Rac GTPase and is required for cell and growth cone migrations in C. elegans. Steven, R., Kubiseski, T.J., Zheng, H., Kulkarni, S., Mancillas, J., Ruiz Morales, A., Hogue, C.W., Pawson, T., Culotti, J. Cell (1998) [Pubmed]
  2. A RHO GTPase-mediated pathway is required during P cell migration in Caenorhabditis elegans. Spencer, A.G., Orita, S., Malone, C.J., Han, M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Conversion of cell movement responses to Semaphorin-1 and Plexin-1 from attraction to repulsion by lowered levels of specific RAC GTPases in C. elegans. Dalpé, G., Zhang, L.W., Zheng, H., Culotti, J.G. Development (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. ced-10 Rac and mig-2 function redundantly and act with unc-73 trio to control the orientation of vulval cell divisions and migrations in Caenorhabditis elegans. Kishore, R.S., Sundaram, M.V. Dev. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. Distinct rac activation pathways control Caenorhabditis elegans cell migration and axon outgrowth. Wu, Y.C., Cheng, T.W., Lee, M.C., Weng, N.Y. Dev. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  6. Suppressors of the unc-73 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans. Run, J.Q., Steven, R., Hung, M.S., van Weeghel, R., Culotti, J.G., Way, J.C. Genetics (1996) [Pubmed]
  7. Connections between integrins and Rac GTPase pathways control gonad formation and function in C. elegans. Lee, M., Shen, B., Schwarzbauer, J.E., Ahn, J., Kwon, J. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Genetic enhancers of sem-5 define components of the gonad-independent guidance mechanism controlling sex myoblast migration in Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites. Chen, E.B., Branda, C.S., Stern, M.J. Dev. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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