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Cell. 1998 Mar 6;92(5):633-43.

The VAB-1 Eph receptor tyrosine kinase functions in neural and epithelial morphogenesis in C. elegans.

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Department of Biology, Sinsheimer Laboratories, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064, USA.


Mutations in the C. elegans vab-1 gene disrupt the coordinated movements of cells during two periods of embryogenesis. vab-1 mutants are defective in the movement of neuroblasts during closure of the ventral gastrulation cleft and in the movements of epidermal cells during ventral enclosure of the embryo by the epidermis. We show that vab-1 encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase of the Eph family. Disruption of the kinase domain of VAB-1 causes weak mutant phenotypes, indicating that VAB-1 may have both kinase-dependent and kinase-independent activities. VAB-1 is expressed in neurons during epidermal enclosure and is required in these cells for normal epidermal morphogenesis, demonstrating that cell-cell interactions are required between neurons and epidermal cells for epidermal morphogenesis.

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