Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cell Biol. 1992 Apr;117(1):143-55.

The Caenorhabditis elegans unc-93 gene encodes a putative transmembrane protein that regulates muscle contraction.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.

Abstract

unc-93 is one of a set of five interacting genes involved in the regulation or coordination of muscle contraction in Caenorhabditis elegans. Rare altered-function alleles of unc-93 result in sluggish movement and a characteristic "rubber band" uncoordinated phenotype. By contrast, null alleles cause no visibly abnormal phenotype, presumably as a consequence of the functional redundancy of unc-93. To understand better the role of unc-93 in regulating muscle contraction, we have cloned and molecularly characterized this gene. We isolated transposon-insertion alleles and used them to identify the region of DNA encoding the unc-93 protein. Two unc-93 proteins differing at their NH2 termini are potentially encoded by transcripts that differ at their 5' ends. The putative unc-93 proteins are 700 and 705 amino acids in length and have two distinct regions: the NH2 terminal portion of 240 or 245 amino acids is extremely hydrophilic, whereas the rest of the protein has multiple potential membrane-spanning domains. The unc-93 transcripts are low in abundance and the unc-93 gene displays weak codon usage bias, suggesting that the unc-93 protein is relatively rare. The unc-93 protein has no sequence similarity to proteins listed in current data-bases. Thus, unc-93 is likely to encode a novel membrane-associated muscle protein. We discuss possible roles for the unc-93 protein either as a component of an ion transport system involved in excitation-contraction coupling in muscle or in coordinating muscle contraction between muscle cells by affecting the functioning of gap junctions.

PMID:
1313436
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2289394
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk