Be. Vogel et Em. Hedgecock, Hemicentin, a conserved extracellular member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, organizes epithelial and other cell attachments into oriented line-shaped junctions, DEVELOPMENT, 128(6), 2001, pp. 883-894
him-4 mutations cause a novel syndrome of tissue fragility, defective cell
migration and chromosome instability in Caenorhabditis elegans. Null mutant
s have abnormal escape reflex, mispositioning of the vas deferens and uteru
s, and mitotic chromosome loss and multinucleate cells in the germline, The
him-4 gene product, hemicentin, is a conserved extracellular matrix protei
n with 48 tandem immunoglobulin repeats flanked by novel terminal domains.
Secreted from skeletal muscle and gonadal leader cells, hemicentin assemble
s into fine tracks at specific sites, where it contracts broad regions of c
ell contact into oriented linear junctions. Some tracks organize hemidesmos
omes in the overlying epidermis, Hemicentin tracks facilitate mechanosensor
y neuron anchorage to the epidermis, gliding of the developing gonad along
epithelial basement membranes and germline cellularization.