In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the gonad acquires two U-shaped arms through the directed migration of its distal tip cells (DTCs), which are located at the tip of the growing gonad arms. A member of the ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) family, MIG-17, regulates directional migration of DTCs: MIG-17 is synthesized and secreted from the muscle cells of the body wall, and diffuses to the gonad where it is required for DTC migration. The mig-23 mutation causes defective migration of DTCs and interacts genetically with mig-17. Here, we report that mig-23 encodes a membrane-bound nucleoside diphosphatase (NDPase) required for glycosylation and proper localization of MIG-17. Our findings indicate that an NDPase affects organ morphogenesis through glycosylation of the MIG-17 ADAM protease.
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