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Curr Biol. 2001 Apr 3;11(7):482-8.

CDC-42 controls early cell polarity and spindle orientation in C. elegans.

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1
Wellcome/CRC Institute, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QR, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Generation of asymmetry in the one-cell embryo of C. elegans establishes the anterior--posterior axis (A-P), and is necessary for the proper identity of early blastomeres. Conserved PAR proteins are asymmetrically distributed and are required for the generation of this early asymmetry. The small G protein Cdc42 is a key regulator of polarity in other systems, and recently it has been shown to interact with the mammalian homolog of PAR-6. The function of Cdc42 in C. elegans had not yet been investigated, however.

RESULTS:

Here, we show that C. elegans cdc-42 plays an essential role in the polarity of the one-cell embryo and the proper localization of PAR proteins. Inhibition of cdc-42 using RNA interference results in embryos with a phenotype that is nearly identical to par-3, par-6, and pkc-3 mutants, and asymmetric localization of these and other PAR proteins is lost. We further show that C. elegans CDC-42 physically interacts with PAR-6 in a yeast two-hybrid system, consistent with data on the interaction of human homologs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results show that CDC-42 acts in concert with the PAR proteins to control the polarity of the C. elegans embryo, and provide evidence that the interaction of CDC-42 and the PAR-3/PAR-6/PKC-3 complex has been evolutionarily conserved as a functional unit.

PMID:
11412997
DOI:
10.1016/s0960-9822(01)00142-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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