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Gene Review

pak-1  -  Protein PAK-1

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of pak-1

  • Similar to its mammalian and Drosophila counterparts, the CePAK protein expressed in E. coli exhibits binding activity toward GTP-bound CeRac1 and CDC42Ce [1].
  • C. elegans becomes less attracted to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 over time, but this response is not seen with P. aeruginosa strains PAK1 or PA01 [2].

High impact information on pak-1

  • We find that the two PAKs, max-2 and pak-1, are redundantly required for P cell migration and function with UNC-73/Trio and the rac GTPases (CED-10 and MIG-2) [3].
  • We have identified the new PAK gene max-2 in a screen for mutants disrupted in UNC-6/netrin-mediated commissural axon guidance [3].
  • To investigate its function in Caenorhabditis elegans development, we have isolated the cDNA coding for the p21-activated kinase homologue (CePAK) from a C. elegans embryonic cDNA library [1].
  • The C. elegans p21-activated protein kinase (CePAK) has a high amino-acid sequence similarity to mammalian PAKs [4].
  • This analysis indicated that CePAK is expressed mainly in pharyngeal muscles, the CAN neurons, and motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord, as well as several cells in the tail region and the distal tip cells [4].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of pak-1

  • Immunofluorescence analysis indicates that CePAK is specifically expressed at the hypodermal cell boundaries during embryonic body elongation, which involves dramatic cytoskeletal reorganization [1].


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