Apr 30, 2020

Two Caenorhabditis elegans calponin-related proteins have overlapping functions to maintain cytoskeletal integrity and are essential for reproduction

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Shoichiro Ono, Shoichiro Ono


Multicellular organisms have multiple genes encoding calponins and calponin-related proteins, and some of these are known to regulate actin cytoskeletal dynamics and contractility. However, functional similarities and differences among these proteins are largely unknown. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, UNC-87 is a calponin-related protein with seven calponin-like (CLIK) motifs and is required for maintenance of contractile apparatuses in muscle cells. Here, we report that CLIK-1, another calponin-related protein that also contains seven CLIK motifs, has an overlapping function with UNC-87 to maintain actin cytoskeletal integrity in vivo and has both common and different actin-regulatory activities in vitro. CLIK-1 is predominantly expressed in the body wall muscle and somatic gonad, where UNC-87 is also expressed. unc-87 mutation causes cytoskeletal defects in the body wall muscle and somatic gonad, whereas clik-1 depletion alone causes no detectable phenotypes. However, simultaneous depletion of clik-1 and unc-87 caused sterility due to ovulation failure by severely affecting the contractile actin networks in the myoepithelial sheath of the somatic gonad. In vitro, UNC-87 bundles actin filaments. However, CLIK-1 binds ...Continue Reading

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