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Cell. 1982 Aug;30(1):321-30.

A gene required for nuclear and mitochondrial attachment in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.


Nuclei occupy characteristic positions in most cells. In Caenorhabditis elegans, nuclei can be observed in living animals. Ordinary movements can distort the cells and displace their nuclei, but the extent of displacement is limited and nuclei return to their resting positions when the muscles relax. We have isolated five mutants in which the nuclei of certain epithelial cells are not elastically anchored but float freely within the cytoplasm. These mutations define a single gene, anc1, on linkage group 1. Mitochondrial positioning, observed by staining live animals with rhodamine 6G, is also disturbed in these cells. Additional defects, including abnormal tonofilaments and inappropriately positioned desmosomes, have been found by electron microscopy. The anc1 product may be a cytoskeletal component of nematode epithelial cells. Although the Anc1 phenotype is fully expressed in the newly hatched larvae, mutants develop and reproduce normally. Despite mispositioning of organelles, cuticle deposition and moulting are essentially normal. These mutations represent the null phenotype of the gene. At least three independent isolates revert spontaneously at high frequency (10(-5) to 10(-4) ). We suggest that anc1 is a member of a family of cytoskeletal genes.

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