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Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-98, a C2H2 Zn Finger Protein, Is a Novel Partner of UNC-97/PINCH in Muscle Adhesion Complexes

By Kristina B. Mercer, Denise B. Flaherty, Rachel K. Miller, Hiroshi Qadota, Tina L. Tinley, Donald G. Moerman and Guy M. Benian


To further understand the assembly and maintenance of the muscle contractile apparatus, we have identified a new protein, UNC-98, in the muscle of Caenorhabditis elegans. unc-98 mutants display reduced motility and a characteristic defect in muscle structure. We show that the major defect in the mutant muscle is in the M-lines and dense bodies (Z-line analogs). Both functionally and compositionally, nematode M-lines and dense bodies are analogous to focal adhesions of nonmuscle cells. UNC-98 is a novel 310-residue polypeptide consisting of four C2H2 Zn fingers and several possible nuclear localization signal and nuclear export signal sequences. By use of UNC-98 antibodies and green fluorescent protein fusions (to full-length UNC-98 and UNC-98 fragments), we have shown that UNC-98 resides at M-lines, muscle cell nuclei, and possibly at dense bodies. Furthermore, we demonstrated that 1) the N-terminal 106 amino acids are both necessary and sufficient for nuclear localization, and 2) the C-terminal (fourth) Zn finger is required for localization to M-lines and dense bodies. UNC-98 interacts with UNC-97, a C. elegans homolog of PINCH. We propose that UNC-98 is both a structural component of muscle focal adhesions and a nuclear protein that influences gene expression

Topics: Articles
Publisher: The American Society for Cell Biology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1091/mbc.E02-10-0676
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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