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PLoS Biol. 2008 Apr 8;6(4):e84. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060084.

Control of apoptosis by asymmetric cell division.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States of America.

Abstract

Asymmetric cell division and apoptosis (programmed cell death) are two fundamental processes that are important for the development and function of multicellular organisms. We have found that the processes of asymmetric cell division and apoptosis can be functionally linked. Specifically, we show that asymmetric cell division in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is mediated by a pathway involving three genes, dnj-11 MIDA1, ces-2 HLF, and ces-1 Snail, that directly control the enzymatic machinery responsible for apoptosis. Interestingly, the MIDA1-like protein GlsA of the alga Volvox carteri, as well as the Snail-related proteins Snail, Escargot, and Worniu of Drosophila melanogaster, have previously been implicated in asymmetric cell division. Therefore, C. elegans dnj-11 MIDA1, ces-2 HLF, and ces-1 Snail may be components of a pathway involved in asymmetric cell division that is conserved throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Furthermore, based on our results, we propose that this pathway directly controls the apoptotic fate in C. elegans, and possibly other animals as well.

PMID:
18399720
PMCID:
PMC2288629
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.0060084
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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