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      SDQR migrations in Caenorhabditis elegans are controlled by multiple guidance cues and changing responses to netrin UNC-6.

      Development (Cambridge, England)

      Signal Transduction, Animals, Animals, Genetically Modified, Axons, physiology, Caenorhabditis elegans, cytology, genetics, growth & development, Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cell Movement, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Helminth Proteins, Larva, Membrane Proteins, Models, Neurological, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Neurons, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Growth Factor

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          The netrin guidance cue, UNC-6, and the netrin receptors, UNC-5 and UNC-40, guide SDQR cell and axon migrations in C. elegans. In wild-type larvae, SDQR migrations are away from ventral UNC-6-expressing cells, suggesting that UNC-6 repels SDQR. In unc-6 null larvae, SDQR migrations are towards the ventral midline, indicating a response to other guidance cues that directs the migrations ventrally. Although ectopic UNC-6 expression dorsal to the SDQR cell body would be predicted to cause ventral SDQR migrations in unc-6 null larvae, in fact, more migrations are directed dorsally, suggesting that SDQR is not always repelled from the dorsal source of UNC-6. UNC-5 is required for dorsal SDQR migrations, but not for the ventral migrations in unc-6 null larvae. UNC-40 appears to moderate both the response to UNC-6 and to the other cues. Our results show that SDQR responds to multiple guidance cues and they suggest that, besides UNC-6, other factors influence whether an UNC-6 responsive cell migrates toward or away from an UNC-6 source in vivo. We propose that multiple signals elicited by the guidance cues are integrated and interpreted by SDQR and that the response to UNC-6 can change depending on the combination of cues encountered during migration. These responses determine the final dorsoventral position of the SDQR cell and axon.

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