In Caenorhabditis elegans, unc-33 encodes an orthologue of the vertebrate collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP) family. We previously reported that CRMP-2 accumulated in the distal part of the growing axon of vertebrate neurons and played critical roles in axon elongation, unc-33 mutants show axonal outgrowth defects in several neurons. It has been reported that UNC-33 accumulates in neuntes, whereas a missense mutation causes the mislocalization of UNC-33 from neurites to cell body, which suggests that the localization of UNC-33 in neurites is important for axonal outgrowth. However, it is unclear how UNC-33 accumulates in neurites and regulates neuronal development. In this study, to understand the regulatory mechanisms of localization of UNC-33 in neurites, we screened for the mutants that were involved in the localization of UNC-33, and identified three mutants: unc-14 (RUN domain protein), unc-51 (ULK kinase) and unc-116 (kinesin heavy chain). UNC-14 is known to associate with UNC-51. UNC-116 forms a complex with KLC-2 as Kinesin-1, a microtubule-dependent motor complex. We found that UNC-33 interacted with UNC-14 and KLC-2 in vivo. These results suggest that the UNC-14/UNC-51 complex and Kinesin-1 are involved in the localization of UNC-33 in neurites.
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