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EMBO J. 1992 Aug;11(8):2885-93.

The mec-7 beta-tubulin gene of Caenorhabditis elegans is expressed primarily in the touch receptor neurons.

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Division of Molecular Immunology and Neurobiology, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Mutants of the mec-7 beta-tubulin gene of Caenorhabditis elegans lack the large diameter 15-protofilament microtubules normally found only in the set of six touch receptor neurons. Both a mec-7-lacZ reporter gene and affinity-purified anti-mec-7 antibodies were used to show that mec-7 is expressed primarily in the touch neurons. These data are consistent with a possible instructive role for the mec-7 tubulin in determining microtubule protofilament number. The antibodies and the mec-7-lacZ transgene were also used to examine mec-7 expression in mutants affecting the generation, differentiation or maintenance of the touch neurons. Decreased expression was observed in mutants of unc-86 and mec-3, genes that encode transcription factors essential for touch receptor neuron generation and differentiation, respectively.

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