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EMBO Rep. 2005 Dec;6(12):1163-8.

The Caenorhabditis elegans ect-2 RhoGEF gene regulates cytokinesis and migration of epidermal P cells.

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Department of MCD Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA.


A reduction-of-function mutation in ect-2 was isolated as a suppressor of the Multivulva phenotype of a lin-31 mutation. Analysis using markers indicates that this mutation causes defects in both the cytokinesis and migration of epidermal P cells, phenotypes similar to those caused by expressing a rho-1 dominant-negative construct. ect-2 encodes the Caenorhabditis elegans orthologue of the mouse Ect2 and Drosophila Pebble that function as guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for Rho GTPases. The ect-2Colon, two colonsGFP reporter is expressed in embryonic cells and P cells. RNA interference of ect-2 causes sterility and embryonic lethality, in addition to the P-cell defects. We have determined the lesions of two ect-2 alleles, and described their differences in phenotypes in specific tissues. We propose a model in which ECT-2GEF not only activates RHO-1 for P-cell cytokinesis, but also collaborates with UNC-73GEF and at least two Rac proteins to regulate P-cell migration.

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