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Regulation of Axon Guidance by the Wnt Receptor Ror/CAM-1 in the PVT Guidepost Cell in Caenorhabditis elegans

Journal article
Authors Jason Chien
Ranjan Devkota
N. Yosef
Catarina Mörck
Published in Genetics
Volume 207
Issue 4
Pages 1533-1545
ISSN 0016-6731
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 1533-1545
Language en
Keywords C. elegans, ventral nerve cord, midline guidance, guidepost cell, Wnt, Netrin, Robo pathways, ventral nerve cord, c-elegans, tyrosine kinase, genetically interact, polarity, midline, protein, cam-1, cues, migrations, Genetics & Heredity
Subject categories Genetics


The Caenorhabditis elegans ventral nerve cord (VNC) consists of two asymmetric bundles of neurons and axons that are separated by the midline. How the axons are guided to stay on the correct sides of the midline remains poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that the conserved Wnt signaling pathway along with the Netrin and Robo pathways constitute a combinatorial code for midline guidance of PVP and PVQ axons that extend into the VNC. Combined loss of the Wnts CWN-1, CWN-2, and EGL-20 or loss of the Wnt receptor CAM-1 caused. >70% of PVP and PVQ axons to inappropriately cross over from the left side to the right side. Loss of the Frizzled receptor LIN-17 or the planar cell polarity (PCP) protein VANG-1 also caused cross over defects that did not enhance those in the cam-1 mutant, indicating that the proteins function together in midline guidance. Strong cam-1 expression can be detected in the PVQs and the guidepost cell PVT that is located on the midline. However, only when cam-1 is expressed in PVT are the crossover defects of PVP and PVQ rescued, showing that CAM-1 functions nonautonomously in PVT to prevent axons from crossing the midline.

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