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Neuron. 1997 Jul;19(1):51-62.

Neuronal migrations and axon fasciculation are disrupted in ina-1 integrin mutants.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720-3204, USA.


Integrins are heterodimeric cell surface receptors implicated in cell adhesion and signaling. Our analysis of C. elegans ina-1 alpha integrin mutants provides the first genetic evidence that migrating neurons require integrins. Mosaic analysis and expression studies show that ina-1 acts autonomously in cells to promote their migrations. Although axons generally extend to their normal targets in ina-1 mutants, bundling of axons into fascicles is defective, defining a previously unrecognized role for integrins. In addition to these neuronal phenotypes, ina-1 mutants also display many morphogenetic defects. Finally, we show that the C. elegans INA-1 alpha integrin subunit associates with the PAT-3beta subunit in vivo, suggesting that these proteins function together in cell migration, axon fasciculation, and morphogenesis.

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