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      Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans axonal guidance and outgrowth gene unc-33.

      Genomics

      genetics, RNA, Messenger, metabolism, Nerve Growth Factors, Mutation, Molecular Sequence Data, physiology, Microtubules, Helminth Proteins, Genes, Gene Expression, Exons, Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins, Caenorhabditis elegans, Base Sequence, Axons, Animals, Amino Acid Sequence

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          Abstract

          Mutations in the unc-33 gene of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans lead to severely uncoordinated movement, abnormalities in the guidance and outgrowth of the axons of many neurons, and a superabundance of microtubules in neuronal processes. We have cloned unc-33 by tagging the gene with the transposable element Tc4. Three unc-33 messages, which are transcribed from a genomic region of at least 10 kb, were identified and characterized. The three messages have common 3' ends and identical reading frames. The largest (3.8-kb) message consists of the 22-nucleotide trans-spliced leader SL1 and 10 exons (I-X); the intermediate-size (3.3-kb) message begins with SL1 spliced to the 5' end of exon V and includes exons V-X; and the smallest (2.8-kb) message begins within exon VII and also includes exons VIII-X. A gamma-ray-induced deletion mutation situated within exon VIII reduces the sizes of all three messages by 0.5 kb. The three putative polypeptides encoded by the three messages overlap in C-terminal sequence but differ by the positions at which their N termini begin; none has significant similarity to any other known protein. A Tc4 insertion in exon VII leads to alterations in splicing that result in three approximately wild-type-size messages: the Tc4 sequence and 28 additional nucleotides are spliced out of the two larger messages; the Tc4 sequence is trans-spliced off the smallest message such that SL1 is added 13 nucleotides upstream of the normal 5' end of the smallest message.

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          Journal
          1205206
          1468626

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