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Gene Review

F20C5.6  -  Protein F20C5.6

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of spectrin


High impact information on spectrin


Biological context of spectrin

  • Our experiments show that the phenotype resulting from the loss of the C. elegans alpha spectrin is reproduced by tandem depletion of both beta-G and beta-H spectrins [4].
  • Nematode beta-G spectrin associates with plasma membranes at sites of cell-cell contact, beginning at the two-cell stage, and with a dramatic increase in intensity after gastrulation when most cell proliferation has been completed [4].
  • AO13 ankyrin contains the ANK repeat and spectrin-binding domains found in other ankyrins, but differs from all others in that the acidic carboxyl region contains six blocks of serine/threonine/glutamic acid/proline rich (STEP) repeats separated by seven hydrophobic domains [5].

Anatomical context of spectrin


Other interactions of spectrin

  • Conventional ankyrins are cortical cytoskeletal proteins that form an ankyrin-spectrin meshwork underlying the plasma membrane [5].
  • However, loss of spectrin results in only mild and occasional defects in synaptobrevin localization [7].
  • Apart from the new HEAT and Armadillo domains in cofactor D and an unusual spectrin-like domain in cofactor C, we have identified a new subfamily of ubiquitin-like domains in cofactors B and E. Together, these observations provide a reliable, molecular level model of cofactor complex [8].


  1. Axons break in animals lacking {beta}-spectrin. Hammarlund, M., Jorgensen, E.M., Bastiani, M.J. J. Cell Biol. (2007) [Pubmed]
  2. 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]
  3. Alpha spectrin is essential for morphogenesis and body wall muscle formation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Norman, K.R., Moerman, D.G. J. Cell Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  4. Caenorhabditis elegans beta-G spectrin is dispensable for establishment of epithelial polarity, but essential for muscular and neuronal function. Moorthy, S., Chen, L., Bennett, V. J. Cell Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. Novel UNC-44 AO13 ankyrin is required for axonal guidance in C. elegans, contains six highly repetitive STEP blocks separated by seven potential transmembrane domains, and is localized to neuronal processes and the periphery of neural cell bodies. Otsuka, A.J., Boontrakulpoontawee, P., Rebeiz, N., Domanus, M., Otsuka, D., Velamparampil, N., Chan, S., Vande Wyngaerde, M., Campagna, S., Cox, A. J. Neurobiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  6. SMA-1 spectrin has essential roles in epithelial cell sheet morphogenesis in C. elegans. Praitis, V., Ciccone, E., Austin, J. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans cytoplasmic dynein components reveal specificity of neuronal retrograde cargo. Koushika, S.P., Schaefer, A.M., Vincent, R., Willis, J.H., Bowerman, B., Nonet, M.L. J. Neurosci. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Domain analysis of the tubulin cofactor system: a model for tubulin folding and dimerization. Grynberg, M., Jaroszewski, L., Godzik, A. BMC Bioinformatics (2003) [Pubmed]
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