GSBS Student Publications


Wnt signaling and an APC-related gene specify endoderm in early C. elegans embryos

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cell Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein; Animals; Armadillo Domain Proteins; Blastomeres; Caenorhabditis elegans; *Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins; Cytoskeletal Proteins; *Drosophila Proteins; *Embryonic Induction; Endoderm; Frizzled Receptors; Genes, Helminth; Insect Proteins; Membrane Proteins; Molecular Sequence Data; Proto-Oncogene Proteins; Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled; *Signal Transduction; *Trans-Activators; beta Catenin


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


In a 4-cell stage C. elegans embryo, signaling by the P2 blastomere induces anterior-posterior polarity in the adjacent EMS blastomere, leading to endoderm formation. We have taken genetic and reverse genetic approaches toward understanding the molecular basis for this induction. These studies have identified a set of genes with sequence similarity to genes that have been shown to be, or are implicated in, Wnt/Wingless signaling pathways in other systems. The C. elegans genes described here are related to wnt/wingless, porcupine, frizzled, beta-catenin/armadillo, and the human adenomatous polyposis coli gene, APC. We present evidence that there may be partially redundant inputs into endoderm specification and that a subset of these genes appear also to function in determining cytoskeletal polarity in certain early blastomeres.

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Citation: Cell. 1997 Aug 22;90(4):707-16.

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