The cuticle

Page, A. P. and Johnstone, I. J. (2007) The cuticle. In: Kramer, J. M. and Moerman, D. G. (eds.) Wormbook. The C. elegans Research Community:

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The nematode cuticle is an extremely flexible and resilient exoskeleton that permits locomotion via attachment to muscle, confers environmental protection and allows growth by molting. It is synthesised five times, once in the embryo and subsequently at the end of each larval stage prior to molting. It is a highly structured extra-cellular matrix (ECM), composed predominantly of cross-linked collagens, additional insoluble proteins termed cuticlins, associated glycoproteins and lipids. The cuticle collagens are encoded by a large gene family that are subject to strict patterns of temporal regulation. Cuticle collagen biosynthesis involves numerous co- and post-translational modification, processing, secretion and cross-linking steps that in turn are catalysed by specific enzymes and chaperones. Mutations in individual collagen genes and their biosynthetic pathway components can result in a range of defects from abnormal morphology (dumpy and blister) to embryonic and larval death, confirming an essential role for this structure and highlighting its potential as an ECM experimental model system.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Page, Professor Tony
Authors: Page, A. P., and Johnstone, I. J.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH345 Biochemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Research Group:Page Group
Journal Name:WormBook
Publisher:The C. elegans Research Community
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2007 The Authors
First Published:First published in Wormbook 2007
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
229993The Molecular Enzymology of Collagen Assembly and Post-Translational Modification: a Nematode Model SystemAntony PageMedical Research Council (MRC)G117/476Infection Immunity and Inflammation Life Sciences