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PMID:9384382

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Citation

Kaletta, T, Schnabel, H and Schnabel, R (1997) Binary specification of the embryonic lineage in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature 390:294-8

Abstract

In Caenorhabditis elegans, the early embryo contains five somatic founder cells (known as AB, MS, E, C and D) which give rise to very different lineages. Two simply produce twenty intestinal (E) or muscle (D) cells each, whereas the remainder produce a total of 518 cells which collectively contribute in a complex pattern to a variety of tissues. A central problem in embryonic development is to understand how the developmental potential of blastomeres is restricted to permit the terminal expression of such complex differentiation patterns. Here we identify a gene, lit-1, that appears to play a central role in controlling the asymmetry of cell division during embryogenesis in C. elegans. Mutants in lit-1 suggest that its product controls up to six consecutive binary switches which cause one of the two equivalent cells produced at each cleavage to assume a posterior fate. Most blastomere identities in C. elegans may therefore stem from a process of stepwise binary diversification.

Links

PubMed Online version:10.1038/36869

Keywords

Animals; Blastomeres/cytology; Caenorhabditis elegans/cytology; Caenorhabditis elegans/embryology; Caenorhabditis elegans/genetics; Cell Lineage/genetics; Genes, Helminth; Mutation

Significance

Annotations

Gene product Qualifier GO Term Evidence Code with/from Aspect Extension Notes Status

CAEEL:NLK

involved_in

GO:0009792: embryo development ending in birth or egg hatching

ECO:0000315: mutant phenotype evidence used in manual assertion

P

Seeded From UniProt

complete

CAEEL:NLK

involved_in

GO:0008356: asymmetric cell division

ECO:0000315: mutant phenotype evidence used in manual assertion

P

Seeded From UniProt

complete


See also

References

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