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Cell. 1996 Oct 18;87(2):187-95.

UNC-40, a C. elegans homolog of DCC (Deleted in Colorectal Cancer), is required in motile cells responding to UNC-6 netrin cues.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


UNC-6 netrin, a laminin-related protein secreted from neuroglia and neurons along the ventral midline, orients migrating cells and pioneering growth cones on the nematode epidermis. UNC-5, a cell surface protein expressed on motile cells and pioneer axons, orients movements away from UNC-6 sources. UNC-40, a homolog of the cell surface proteins DCC (Deleted in Colorectal Cancer) and neogenin, is also expressed on motile cells and pioneer neurons. UNC-40 acts cell autonomously to orient movement toward UNC-6 sources. For cells coexpressing UNC-5, it helps orient movement away from UNC-6 sources. Finally, UNC-40 helps determine the dorsoventral position of cells undergoing purely longitudinal migrations. Together with the recent report that DCC is a netrin receptor in vertebrates, our results suggest that UNC-40 is a component of UNC-6 receptors on motile cells.

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