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Genetics. 2003 Mar;163(3):905-15.

DIM-1, a novel immunoglobulin superfamily protein in Caenorhabditis elegans, is necessary for maintaining bodywall muscle integrity.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.


The UNC-112 protein is required during initial muscle assembly in C. elegans to form dense bodies and M-lines. Loss of this protein results in arrest at the twofold stage of embryogenesis. In contrast, a missense mutation in unc-112 results in viable animals that have disorganized bodywall muscle and are paralyzed as adults. Loss or reduction of dim-1 gene function can suppress the severe muscle disruption and paralysis exhibited by these mutant hermaphrodites. The overall muscle structure in hermaphrodites lacking a functional dim-1 gene is slightly disorganized, and the myofilament lattice is not as strongly anchored to the muscle cell membrane as it is in wild-type muscle. The dim-1 gene encodes two polypeptides that contain three Ig-like repeats. The short DIM-1 protein isoform consists entirely of three Ig repeats and is sufficient for wild-type bodywall muscle structure and stability. DIM-1(S) localizes to the region of the muscle cell membrane around and between the dense bodies, which are the structures that anchor the actin filaments and may play a role in stabilizing the thin rather than the thick filament components of the sarcomere.

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