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Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Jan;6(1):31-7. Epub 2003 Dec 21.

An NDPase links ADAM protease glycosylation with organ morphogenesis in C. elegans.

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RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology and PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan.


In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the gonad acquires two U-shaped arms through the directed migration of its distal tip cells (DTCs), which are located at the tip of the growing gonad arms. A member of the ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) family, MIG-17, regulates directional migration of DTCs: MIG-17 is synthesized and secreted from the muscle cells of the body wall, and diffuses to the gonad where it is required for DTC migration. The mig-23 mutation causes defective migration of DTCs and interacts genetically with mig-17. Here, we report that mig-23 encodes a membrane-bound nucleoside diphosphatase (NDPase) required for glycosylation and proper localization of MIG-17. Our findings indicate that an NDPase affects organ morphogenesis through glycosylation of the MIG-17 ADAM protease.

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