Integrin signaling impacts many developmental processes. The complexity of these signals increases when multiple, unique integrin heterodimers are expressed during a single developmental event. Since integrin heterodimers have different signaling capabilities, the signals originating at each integrin type must be separated in the cell. C. elegans have two integrin heterodimers, α INA-1/β PAT-3 and α PAT-2/β PAT-3, which are expressed individually or simultaneously, based on tissue type. We used chimeric α integrins to assess the role of α integrin cytoplasmic tails during development. Chimeric integrin ina-1 with the pat-2 cytoplasmic tail rescued lethality and maintained neuron fasciculation in an ina-1 mutant. Interestingly, the pat-2 tail was unable to completely restore distal tip cell migration and vulva morphogenesis. Chimeric integrin pat-2 with the ina-1 cytoplasmic tail had a limited ability to rescue a lethal mutation in pat-2, with survivors showing aberrant muscle organization, yet normal distal tip cell migration. In a wild type background, α integrin pat-2 with the ina-1 cytoplasmic tail had a dominant negative effect which induced muscle disorganization, cell migration defects and lethality. These results show the a integrin cytoplasmic tails impact unique cellular behaviors that vary by tissue type during development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Distal tip cell