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Genetics. 2010 Jan;184(1):79-90. doi: 10.1534/genetics.109.110189. Epub 2009 Nov 9.

Caenorhabditis elegans unc-82 encodes a serine/threonine kinase important for myosin filament organization in muscle during growth.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.

Abstract

Mutations in the unc-82 locus of Caenorhabditis elegans were previously identified by screening for disrupted muscle cytoskeleton in otherwise apparently normal mutagenized animals. Here we demonstrate that the locus encodes a serine/threonine kinase orthologous to human ARK5/SNARK (NUAK1/NUAK2) and related to the PAR-1 and SNF1/AMP-Activated kinase (AMPK) families. The predicted 1600-amino-acid polypeptide contains an N-terminal catalytic domain and noncomplex repetitive sequence in the remainder of the molecule. Phenotypic analyses indicate that unc-82 is required for maintaining the organization of myosin filaments and internal components of the M-line during cell-shape changes. Mutants exhibit normal patterning of cytoskeletal elements during early embryogenesis. Defects in localization of thick filament and M-line components arise during embryonic elongation and become progressively more severe as development proceeds. The phenotype is independent of contractile activity, consistent with unc-82 mutations preventing proper cytoskeletal reorganization during growth, rather than undermining structural integrity of the M-line. This is the first report establishing a role for the UNC-82/ARK5/SNARK kinases in normal development. We propose that activation of UNC-82 kinase during cell elongation regulates thick filament attachment or growth, perhaps through phosphorylation of myosin and paramyosin. We speculate that regulation of myosin is an ancestral characteristic of kinases in this region of the kinome.

PMID:
19901071
PMCID:
PMC2815932
DOI:
10.1534/genetics.109.110189
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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