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Science. 2000 Apr 7;288(5463):150-4.

Positioning of longitudinal nerves in C. elegans by nidogen.

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Department of Pathology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854-5635, USA.


Basement membranes can help determine pathways of migrating axons. Although members of the nidogen (entactin) protein family are structural components of basement membranes, we find that nidogen is not required for basement membrane assembly in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Nidogen is localized to body wall basement membranes and is required to direct longitudinal nerves dorsoventrally and to direct axons at the midlines. By examining migration of a single axon in vivo, we show that nidogen is required for the axon to switch from circumferential to longitudinal migration. Specialized basement membranes may thus regulate nerve position.

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