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Genetics. 2003 Aug;164(4):1355-67.

Identification of genes that regulate a left-right asymmetric neuronal migration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0448, USA.


In C. elegans, cells of the QL and QR neuroblast lineages migrate with left-right asymmetry; QL and its descendants migrate posteriorly whereas QR and its descendants migrate anteriorly. One key step in generating this asymmetry is the expression of the Hox gene mab-5 in the QL descendants but not in the QR descendants. This asymmetry appears to be coupled to the asymmetric polarizations and movements of QL and QR as they migrate and relies on an asymmetric response to an EGL-20/Wnt signal. To identify genes involved in these complex layers of regulation and to isolate targets of mab-5 that direct posterior migrations, we screened visually for mutants with cell migration defects in the QL and QR lineages. Here, we describe a set of new mutants (qid-5, qid-6, qid-7, and qid-8) that primarily disrupt the migrations of the QL descendants. Most of these mutants were defective in mab-5 expression in the QL lineage and might identify genes that interact directly or indirectly with the EGL-20/Wnt signaling pathway.

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