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J Biol Chem. 1998 Jan 23;273(4):2192-8.

Functional properties of the unc-64 gene encoding a Caenorhabditis elegans syntaxin.

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1
Department of Biology, Fujita Health University, Aichi, Japan.

Abstract

Phenotypes of Caenorhabditis elegans unc-18 and unc-64 gene mutations are similar. While unc-18 is known to be essential for normal synaptic transmission (Hosono, R., Hekimi, S., Kamiya, Y., Sassa, T., Murakami, S., Nishiwaki, S., Miwa, J., Taketo, A., and Kodaira, K.-I. (1992) J. Neurochem. 58, 1517-1525), the function of unc-64 remains unclear. Here we describe the cloning, and the molecular and genetic characterization of the unc-64 gene, especially in relation to unc-18. unc-64 encodes a protein (C. elegans syntaxin) showing sequence and structural similarities to mammalian syntaxin 1A. From unc-64, at least three types of poly(A)+ RNA are transcribed, which encode two types of syntaxin that differ in the deduced transmembrane domain. In gene expression, unc-64 closely resembles unc-18, that is, both are expressed in neural cells, especially in motor neurons and neurons constituting head ganglions. C. elegans syntaxin binds to UNC-18 with high affinity. The unc-64 (e246) mutation producing a mild phenotype causes an Ala-->Val conversion in the conserved COOH-terminal region in mammalian syntaxin 1A or Drosophila syntaxin-1A whose site is included in three types of transcripts. The binding of the mutant C. elegans syntaxin to UNC-18 is greatly reduced, indicating the mutation site contributes to the binding.

PMID:
9442061
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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