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Elife. 2015 Mar 23;4. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06565.

FBN-1, a fibrillin-related protein, is required for resistance of the epidermis to mechanical deformation during C. elegans embryogenesis.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, United States.
2
Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, Stanford, United States.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, United States.
4
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, United States.
5
Department of Biological Chemistry, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, United States.
6
Laboratory of Developmental Genetics, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States.

Abstract

During development, biomechanical forces contour the body and provide shape to internal organs. Using genetic and molecular approaches in combination with a FRET-based tension sensor, we characterized a pulling force exerted by the elongating pharynx (foregut) on the anterior epidermis during C. elegans embryogenesis. Resistance of the epidermis to this force and to actomyosin-based circumferential constricting forces is mediated by FBN-1, a ZP domain protein related to vertebrate fibrillins. fbn-1 was required specifically within the epidermis and FBN-1 was expressed in epidermal cells and secreted to the apical surface as a putative component of the embryonic sheath. Tiling array studies indicated that fbn-1 mRNA processing requires the conserved alternative splicing factor MEC-8/RBPMS. The conserved SYM-3/FAM102A and SYM-4/WDR44 proteins, which are linked to protein trafficking, function as additional components of this network. Our studies demonstrate the importance of the apical extracellular matrix in preventing mechanical deformation of the epidermis during development.

KEYWORDS:

C. elegans; cell biology; developmental biology; epidermis; extra cellular matrix; fibrillin; mec-8; morphogenesis; splicing; stem cells

PMID:
25798732
PMCID:
PMC4395870
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.06565
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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