SRC-1, a non-receptor type of protein tyrosine kinase, controls the direction of cell and growth cone migration in C. elegans

Bunsho Itoh, Takashi Hirose, Nozomu Takata, Kiyoji Nishiwaki, Makoto Koga, Yasumi Ohshima, Masato Okada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Src family tyrosine kinase (SFK) has been implicated in the regulation of cell adhesion and migration during animal development. We show that SRC-1, an ortholog of SFK, plays an essential role in directing cell migration in Caenorhabditis elegans. The mutation in the src-1 gene results in defective distal tip cell (DTC)-directed gonad morphogenesis in an activity-dependent and DTC cell-autonomous manners. In the src-1 mutants, DTCs fail to turn and continue their centrifugal migration along the ventral muscles. The effect of the src-1 mutation is suppressed by mutations in genes that function in the CED/Rac pathway, suggesting that SRC-1 in DTCs is an upstream regulator of a Rac pathway that controls cytoskeletal remodeling. In the src-1 mutant, the expression of unc-5/netrin receptor is normally regulated, and neither the precocious expression of UNC-5 nor the mutation in the unc-5 gene significantly affects the DTC migration defect. These data suggest that SRC-1 acts in the netrin signaling in DTCs. The src-1 mutant also exhibits cell-autonomous defects in the migration and growth cone path-finding of Q neuroblast descendants AVM and PVM. However, these roles of SRC-1 do not appear to involve the CED/Rac pathway. These findings show that SRC-1 functions in responding to various extracellular guidance cues that direct the cell migration via disparate signaling pathways in different cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5161-5172
Number of pages12
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Axon guidance
  • C. elegans
  • Cell migration
  • Src family tyrosine kinase
  • SRC-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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