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Dev Biol. 2008 May 1;317(1):225-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.02.040. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

CRIP homologues maintain apical cytoskeleton to regulate tubule size in C. elegans.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences, 1200 Sunnyside Drive, 8035 Haworth Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045-7534, USA.


Maintenance of the shape and diameter of biological tubules is a critical task in the development and physiology of all metazoan organisms. We have cloned the exc-9 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans, which regulates the diameter of the single-cell excretory canal tubules. exc-9 encodes a homologue of the highly expressed mammalian intestinal LIM-domain protein CRIP, whose function has not previously been determined. A second well-conserved CRIP homologue functions in multiple valves of C. elegans. EXC-9 shows genetic interactions with other EXC proteins, including the EXC-5 guanine exchange factor that regulates CDC-42 activity. EXC-9 and its nematode homologue act in polarized epithelial cells that must maintain great flexibility at their apical surface; our results suggest that CRIPs function to maintain cytoskeletal flexibility at the apical surface.

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