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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The autophagy-related kinase UNC-51 and its binding partner UNC-14 regulate the subcellular localization of the Netrin receptor UNC-5 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

UNC-51 and UNC-14 are required for the axon guidance of many neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans. UNC-51 is a serine/threonine kinase homologous to yeast Atg1, which is required for autophagy. The binding partner of UNC-51, UNC-14, contains a RUN domain that is predicted to play an important role in multiple Ras-like GTPase signaling pathways. How these molecules function in axon guidance is largely unknown. Here we observed that, in unc-51 and unc-14 mutants, UNC-5, the receptor for axon-guidance protein Netrin/UNC-6, abnormally localized in neuronal cell bodies. By contrast, the localization of many other proteins required for axon guidance was undisturbed. Moreover, UNC-5 localization was normal in animals with mutations in the genes for axon guidance proteins, several motor proteins, vesicle components and autophagy-related proteins. We also found that unc-5 and unc-6 interacted genetically with unc-51 and unc-14 to affect axon guidance, and that UNC-5 co-localized with UNC-51 and UNC-14 in neurons. These results suggest that UNC-51 and UNC-14 regulate the subcellular localization of the Netrin receptor UNC-5, and that UNC-5 uses a unique mechanism for its localization; the functionality of UNC-5 is probably regulated by this localization.[1]


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