The fat-like cadherin CDH-4 in Caenorhabditis elegans is a non-classical cadherin with homology to Drosophila melanogaster and mouse FAT. Previous work has shown that CDH-4 is important for axon guidance and cell migrations, processes dependent on cell signalling. To further our understanding of CDH-4 signalling, we identified proteins interacting with the intracellular domain of CDH-4 using a yeast two-hybrid screen. We obtained 42 putative interactors of various predicted molecular functions. We began to examine mutants of the candidate genes for defects observed in cdh-4 mutants with the aim of identifying biologically relevant interactions. None of the 18 candidates tested to date showed significant defects in overall axon guidance, suggesting that these candidates might not act together with cdh-4. This study provides the basis to identify components of signalling pathways employed by CDH-4 during axon guidance. This has the potential to uncover novel signalling pathways used by this evolutionarily conserved cadherin.
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Thesis advisor: Hutter, Harald
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