Neural integrity is maintained by dystrophin in C. elegans

Shan Zhou, Lihsia Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The dystrophin protein complex (DPC), composed of dystrophin and associated proteins, is essential for maintaining muscle membrane integrity. The link between mutations in dystrophin and the devastating muscle failure of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD) has been well established. Less well appreciated are the accompanying cognitive impairment and neuro-psychiatric disorders also presented in many DMD patients, which suggest a wider role for dystrophin in membrane-cytoskeleton function. This study provides genetic evidence of a novel role for DYS-1/dystrophin in maintaining neural organization in Caenorhabditis elegans. This neuronal function is distinct from the established role of DYS-1/dystrophin in maintaining muscle integrity and regulating locomotion. SAX-7, an L1 cell adhesion molecule (CAM) homologue, and STN-2/γ- syntrophin also function to maintain neural integrity in C. elegans. This study provides biochemical data that show that SAX-7 associates with DYS-1 in an STN-2/γ-syntrophin-dependent manner. These results reveal a recruitment of L1CAMs to the DPC to ensure neural integrity is maintained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-363
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 24 2011


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