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Dev Biol. 2004 Apr 15;268(2):342-57.

Multi-pathway control of the proliferation versus meiotic development decision in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline.

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1
Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Abstract

An important event in the development of the germline is the initiation of meiotic development. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the conserved GLP-1/Notch signaling pathway regulates the proliferative versus meiotic entry decision, at least in part, by spatially inhibiting genes in the gld-1 and gld-2 parallel pathways, which are proposed to either inhibit proliferation and/or promote meiotic development. Mutations that cause constitutive activation of the GLP-1 pathway, or inactivation of both the gld-1 and gld-2 parallel pathways, result in a tumorous germline in which all cells are thought to be proliferative. Here, to analyze proliferation and meiotic entry in wild-type and mutant tumorous germlines, we use anti-REC-8 and anti-HIM-3 specific antibodies as markers, which under our fixation conditions, stain proliferative and meiotic cells, respectively. Using these makers in wild-type animals, we find that the border of the switch from proliferation to meiotic entry is staggered in late-larval and adult germlines. In wild-type adults, the switch occurs between 19 and 26 cell diameters from the distal end, on average. Our analysis of mutants reveals that tumorous germlines that form when GLP-1 is constitutively active are completely proliferative, while tumors due to inactivation of the gld-1 and gld-2 pathways show evidence of meiotic entry. Genetic and time course studies suggest that a third pathway may exist, parallel to the GLD-1 and GLD-2 pathways, that promotes meiotic development.

PMID:
15063172
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2003.12.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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