Studies of sex myoblast (SM) migration in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have shown that multiple guidance mechanisms cooperate to ensure the accurate and reproducible targeting of the SMs. Many issues arise in the analysis of SM migration, including the action of multiple guidance mechanisms, redundant sources of guidance information, the multiple uses of molecular components, and whether factors affect cell fate determination events or the guidance mechanisms themselves. These issues are common to many cell migration events and make the analysis of SM migration instructive to our general understanding of how cell migrations are controlled.
J Cell Sci,
The canonical UCS (UNC-45/Crol/She4p) protein, Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-45, was one of the earliest molecules to be shown genetically to be necessary for sarcomere assembly. Genetic analyses of homologues in several fungal species indicate that the conserved UCS domain functionally interacts with conventional type II and unconventional type V myosins. In C. elegans and other invertebrate species, UNC-45 and its orthologues interact with both sarcomeric and non-sarcomeric myosins whereas, in vertebrates, there are two UNC-45 isoforms: a general cell (GC) and a striated muscle (SM) isoform. Although the mechanism of action of UCS proteins is unknown, recent biochemical studies suggest that they may act as molecular chaperones that facilitate the folding and/or maturation of myosin.
SmY RNAs are a family of approximately 70-90 nt small nuclear RNAs found in nematodes. In C. elegans, SmY RNAs copurify in a small ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) complex related to the SL1 and SL2 snRNPs that are involved in nematode mRNA trans-splicing. Here we describe a comprehensive computational analysis of SmY RNA homologs found in the currently available genome sequences. We identify homologs in all sequenced nematode genomes in class Chromadorea. We are unable to identify homologs in a more distantly related nematode species, Trichinella spiralis (class: Dorylaimia), and in representatives of non-nematode phyla that use trans-splicing. Using comparative RNA sequence analysis, we infer a conserved consensus SmY RNA secondary structure consisting of two stems flanking a consensus Sm protein binding site. A representative seed alignment of the SmY RNA family, annotated with the inferred consensus secondary structure, has been deposited with the Rfam RNA families database.