• integrin;
  • talin;
  • cnidaria;
  • jellyfish;
  • gene expression

We have isolated an integrin-β and -α subunit from Podocoryne carnea (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) and studied their expression in the life-cycle and during cell migration, in vitro transdifferentiation and regeneration. Comparison of the integrin expression pattern with a Podocoryne talin homologue by RT-PCR demonstrates that all three genes are maternal messages and continuously expressed in the life-cycle, in medusa development and in all medusae tissues. In situ hybridisation experiments confirm co-expression of both integrin subunits in the different life-stages. Integrin expression was furthermore studied in isolated striated muscle induced to transdifferentiate to new cell types, or grafted on ECM where the muscle adheres and migrates. Integrin expression was maintained continuously throughout both processes. These results suggest that in Podocoryne carnea processes such as cell migration and differentiation are not controlled by up- or downregulation of alternative integrin subunits, but by a single integrin heterodimer which activates different downstream signalling cascades.