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Non-centrosomal epidermal microtubules act in parallel to LET-502/ROCK to promote C. elegans elongation

Abstract : C. elegans embryonic elongation is a morphogenetic event driven by actomyosin contractility and muscle-induced tension transmitted through hemidesmosomes. A role for the microtubule cytoskeleton has also been proposed, but its contribution remains poorly characterized. Here, we investigate the organization of the non-centrosomal microtubule arrays present in the epidermis and assess their function in elongation. We show that the microtubule regulators.-tubulin and NOCA-1 are recruited to hemidesmosomes and adherens junctions early in elongation. Several parallel approaches suggest that microtubule nucleation occurs from these sites. Disrupting the epidermal microtubule array by overexpressing the microtubule-severing protein Spastin or by inhibiting the C. elegans ninein homolog NOCA-1 in the epidermis mildly affected elongation. However, microtubules were essential for elongation when hemidesmosomes or the activity of the Rho kinase LET-502/ROCK were partially compromised. Imaging of junctional components and genetic analyses suggest that epidermal microtubules function together with Rho kinase to promote the transport of E-cadherin to adherens junctions and myotactin to hemidesmosomes. Our results indicate that the role of LET-502 in junctional remodeling is likely to be independent of its established function as a myosin II activator, but requires a microtubule-dependent pathway involving the syntaxin SYX-5. Hence, we propose that non-centrosomal microtubules organized by epidermal junctions contribute to elongation by transporting junction remodeling factors, rather than having a mechanical role.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 4:34:55 PM
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Shahoe Wang, Julien Pontabry, Ambre Bender, Francois Robin, Vincent Hyenne, et al.. Non-centrosomal epidermal microtubules act in parallel to LET-502/ROCK to promote C. elegans elongation. Development (Cambridge, England), Company of Biologists, 2016, 143 (1), pp.160-173. ⟨10.1242/dev.126615⟩. ⟨hal-01538537⟩



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