A conserved retromer-independent function for RAB-6.2 in C. elegans epidermis integrity.
Rab proteins are conserved small GTPases that coordinate intracellular trafficking essential to cellular function and homeostasis. RAB-6.2 is a highly conserved C. elegans ortholog of human RAB6 proteins. RAB-6.2 is expressed in most tissues in C. elegans and is known to function in neurons and in the intestine to mediate retrograde trafficking. Here, we show that RAB-6.2 is necessary for cuticle integrity and impermeability in C. elegans RAB-6.2 functions in the epidermis to instruct skin integrity. Significantly, we show that expression of a mouse RAB6A cDNA can rescue defects in C. elegans epidermis caused by lack of RAB-6.2, suggesting functional conservation across phyla. We also show that the novel function of RAB-6.2 in C. elegans cuticle development is distinct from its previously described function in neurons. Exocyst mutants partially phenocopy rab-6.2-null animals, and rab-6.2-null animals phenocopy mutants that have defective surface glycosylation. These results suggest that RAB-6.2 may mediate the trafficking of one or many secreted glycosylated cuticle proteins directly, or might act indirectly by trafficking glycosylation enzymes to their correct intracellular localization.
Kim, JD; Chun, AY; Mangan, RJ; Brown, G; Mourao Pacheco, B; Doyle, H; Leonard, A; El Bejjani, R
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