CONTROL OF EARLY DEVELOPMENT IN C ELEGANS

Summary

Principal Investigator: Susan Strome
Affiliation: University of California
Country: USA
Abstract: A crucial process in the development of every multicellular organism is the specification of different developmental fates in different cells of the early embryo. In embryos of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, as in embryos of many other species, this process is thought to be controlled mainly by maternally supplied factors that are differentially partitioned during the early divisions of the zygote. In addition to maternal factors, we have new evidence that paternally supplied factors also are required for normal early development. We propose to combine genetic, molecular, and cell biological approaches to identify crucial maternal and paternal factors, learn how lineage-specific factors are differentially partitioned to specific cells, and elucidate when and how such factors participate in cell-fate determination in C. elegans embryos. We have identified a novel paternal effect embryonic lethal mutant, spe- 11, that demonstrates that a sperm-contributed factor is required for normal zygote development. Two exciting possibilities are that the spe- 11 product activates the oocyte or provides polarity to the zygote. To investigate the role of the spe-11 product, we will clone the spe-11 gene and analyze and localize its gene product, define the temperature- sensitive period of the mutant, isolate second site suppressors, and try to rescue mutant zygotes by microinjecting sperm factors. The maternally supplied factors on which we will focus are those required for germ-line development. P granules, which are maternally supplied cytoplasmic structures that are segregated to the germ-line blastomeres during the early divisions, are excellent candidates for germ-line "determinants". We are using biochemcal techniques and our collection of anti-P-granule antibodies to purify and analyze the composition of the granules; our long-term goal is to assess their function in the germ line through genetics. Concurrently, by screening for maternal effect sterile of grand-childless mutants, we are identifying mutants defective in maternal control of germ-line development; some of these may identify the factors that determine the germ line. Finally, we are continuing our analysis of the mechanism of segregation of lineage-specific factors. We have already demonstrated that microfilaments (MFs) play a critical role in the generation of zygotic polarity and in segregating P granules to the germ lineage. We will investigate the role of MFs in partitioning somatic-lineage-specific factors, and we will investigate several specific mechanisms by which MFs could participate in segregation events, such as actin-myosin interactions and cytoplasmic streaming.
Funding Period: 1984-09-01 - 1992-03-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Functional analysis of cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain in Caenorhabditis elegans with fast-acting temperature-sensitive mutations
    Diane J Schmidt
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
    Mol Biol Cell 16:1200-12. 2005
  2. pmc A mutation of cdc-25.1 causes defects in germ cells but not in somatic tissues in C. elegans
    Jiyoung Kim
    Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Bio Molecular Informatics Center, Konkuk University, Seoul 143 701, Korea
    Mol Cells 28:43-8. 2009
  3. pmc A germline-specific isoform of eIF4E (IFE-1) is required for efficient translation of stored mRNAs and maturation of both oocytes and sperm
    Melissa A Henderson
    Department of Biochemistry, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
    J Cell Sci 122:1529-39. 2009
  4. pmc Vesicles and actin are targeted to the cleavage furrow via furrow microtubules and the central spindle
    Roger Albertson
    Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
    J Cell Biol 181:777-90. 2008
  5. pmc Genetic analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans GLH family of P-granule proteins
    Caroline Spike
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
    Genetics 178:1973-87. 2008
  6. pmc DEPS-1 promotes P-granule assembly and RNA interference in C. elegans germ cells
    Caroline A Spike
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
    Development 135:983-93. 2008
  7. pmc MRG-1, an autosome-associated protein, silences X-linked genes and protects germline immortality in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Teruaki Takasaki
    Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, 1 1 Rokkodaicho, Nadaku, Kobe 657 8501, Japan
    Development 134:757-67. 2007
  8. pmc MES-4: an autosome-associated histone methyltransferase that participates in silencing the X chromosomes in the C. elegans germ line
    Laurel B Bender
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
    Development 133:3907-17. 2006
  9. pmc Subunit contributions to histone methyltransferase activities of fly and worm polycomb group complexes
    Carrie S Ketel
    Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 55455, USA
    Mol Cell Biol 25:6857-68. 2005
  10. pmc A genomewide RNAi screen for genes that affect the stability, distribution and function of P granules in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Dustin L Updike
    Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
    Genetics 183:1397-419. 2009

Scientific Experts

  • Laurel B Bender
  • Susan Strome
  • Jiyoung Kim
  • Melissa A Henderson
  • Dustin L Updike
  • Roger Albertson
  • Caroline Spike
  • Caroline A Spike
  • Teruaki Takasaki
  • Diane J Schmidt
  • Carrie S Ketel
  • Steve Dunkelbarger
  • Ah Reum Lee
  • Yhong Hee Shim
  • Elizabeth Cronland
  • Vince Contreras
  • Brett D Keiper
  • Ichiro Kawasaki
  • Erica Racen
  • Christopher Yee
  • Tao Shih Hsieh
  • William Sullivan
  • Kathleen Kuznicki
  • April Orsborn
  • Jay Kirchner
  • Karen Bennett
  • Jian Cao
  • Jason Bader
  • Nicole Meyer
  • Valerie Reinke
  • Yasuaki Habara
  • Hiroshi Sakamoto
  • Jun Ichi Nakayama
  • Kiyoji Nishiwaki
  • Kunio Inoue
  • Zheng Liu
  • William M Saxton
  • Jeffrey A Simon
  • Debra J Rose
  • Jinkyo Suh
  • Marcus L Vargas
  • Erica F Andersen

Detail Information

Publications10

  1. pmc Functional analysis of cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain in Caenorhabditis elegans with fast-acting temperature-sensitive mutations
    Diane J Schmidt
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
    Mol Biol Cell 16:1200-12. 2005
    ..This suggests that temperature-sensitive mutations can be created for time-resolved function analyses of dyneins and perhaps other P-loop proteins in a variety of model systems...
  2. pmc A mutation of cdc-25.1 causes defects in germ cells but not in somatic tissues in C. elegans
    Jiyoung Kim
    Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Bio Molecular Informatics Center, Konkuk University, Seoul 143 701, Korea
    Mol Cells 28:43-8. 2009
    ..1 is expressed predominantly, if not exclusively, in the germ line during postembryonic stages. Our findings indicate that the function of cdc-25.1 is unique in the germ line but likely redundant with other members in the soma...
  3. pmc A germline-specific isoform of eIF4E (IFE-1) is required for efficient translation of stored mRNAs and maturation of both oocytes and sperm
    Melissa A Henderson
    Department of Biochemistry, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
    J Cell Sci 122:1529-39. 2009
    ..Thus, IFE-1 plays independent roles in late oogenesis and spermatogenesis through selective translation of germline-specific mRNAs...
  4. pmc Vesicles and actin are targeted to the cleavage furrow via furrow microtubules and the central spindle
    Roger Albertson
    Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
    J Cell Biol 181:777-90. 2008
    ..Transport of F-actin-associated vesicles on furrow MTs and the central spindle is thus an important mechanism by which actin and membrane are delivered to the cleavage furrow...
  5. pmc Genetic analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans GLH family of P-granule proteins
    Caroline Spike
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
    Genetics 178:1973-87. 2008
    ..We discuss the evolution of the Vasa/GLH genes and current views of their functions and the assembly and roles of germ granules among species...
  6. pmc DEPS-1 promotes P-granule assembly and RNA interference in C. elegans germ cells
    Caroline A Spike
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
    Development 135:983-93. 2008
    ....
  7. pmc MRG-1, an autosome-associated protein, silences X-linked genes and protects germline immortality in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Teruaki Takasaki
    Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, 1 1 Rokkodaicho, Nadaku, Kobe 657 8501, Japan
    Development 134:757-67. 2007
    ..We discuss how an autosome-enriched protein might repress genes on the X chromosome, promote PGC proliferation and survival, and influence the germ versus soma distinction...
  8. pmc MES-4: an autosome-associated histone methyltransferase that participates in silencing the X chromosomes in the C. elegans germ line
    Laurel B Bender
    Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
    Development 133:3907-17. 2006
    ..We discuss how an autosomally associated HMT may participate in silencing genes on the X chromosome, in coordination with the direct silencing effects of the other MES proteins...
  9. pmc Subunit contributions to histone methyltransferase activities of fly and worm polycomb group complexes
    Carrie S Ketel
    Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 55455, USA
    Mol Cell Biol 25:6857-68. 2005
    ..Thus, although the fly and mammalian PcG complexes absolutely require SU(Z)12, the worm complex generates HMTase activity from a distinct partner set...
  10. pmc A genomewide RNAi screen for genes that affect the stability, distribution and function of P granules in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Dustin L Updike
    Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
    Genetics 183:1397-419. 2009
    ..Our findings strengthen the emerging view that germ granules are involved in numerous aspects of RNA metabolism, including an endo-siRNA pathway in germ cells...