UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program; Francis Lab; Benard Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Developmental Biology | Developmental Neuroscience | Embryonic Structures | Nervous System


Formation of the nervous system requires a complex series of events including proper extension and guidance of neuronal axons and dendrites. Here we investigate the requirement for integrins, a class of transmembrane cell adhesion receptors, in regulating these processes across classes of C. elegans motor neurons. We show alpha integrin/ina-1 is expressed by both GABAergic and cholinergic motor neurons. Despite this, our analysis of hypomorphic ina-1(gm144) mutants indicates preferential involvement of alpha integrin/ina-1 in GABAergic commissural development, without obvious involvement in cholinergic commissural development. The defects in GABAergic commissures of ina-1(gm144) mutants included both premature termination and guidance errors and were reversed by expression of wild type ina-1 under control of the native ina-1 promoter. Our results also show that alpha integrin/ina-1 is important for proper outgrowth and guidance of commissures from both embryonic and post-embryonic born GABAergic motor neurons, indicating an ongoing requirement for integrin through two phases of GABAergic neuron development. Our findings provide insights into neuron-specific roles for integrin that would not be predicted based solely upon expression analysis.


C. elegans, GABAergic motor neuron, axon guidance, axon outgrowth, commissure, ina-1, integrin

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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

DOI of Published Version



J Dev Biol. 2019 Aug 27;7(3). pii: jdb7030017. doi: 10.3390/jdb7030017. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of developmental biology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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