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BMC Dev Biol. 2009 Dec 31;9:74. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-9-74.

The roles of EGF and Wnt signaling during patterning of the C. elegans Bgamma/delta Equivalence Group.

Author information

1
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 91125, USA. seah@caltech.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

During development, different signaling pathways interact to specify cell fate by regulating transcription factors necessary for fate specification and morphogenesis. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the EGF-Ras and Wnt signaling pathways have been shown to interact to specify cell fate in three equivalence groups: the vulval precursor cells (VPCs), the hook competence group (HCG) and P11/12. In the VPCs, HCG and P11/12 pair, EGF and Wnt signaling positively regulate different Hox genes, each of which also functions during fate specification. In the male, EGF-Ras signaling is required to specify the Bgamma fate within the Bgamma/delta equivalence pair, while Notch signaling is required for Bdelta fate specification. In addition, TGF-beta signaling by dbl-1/dpp controls ceh-13/labial/Hox1 expression in Bgamma.

RESULTS:

We show that EGF-Ras signaling is required for Bgamma expression of ceh-13/labial/Hox1. The transcription factors lin-1/ETS and lin-31/Forkhead, functioning downstream of the EGF pathway, as well as sur-2/MED23 (a component of the Mediator complex) also control ceh-13 expression in Bgamma. In addition, our results indicate that lin-44/Wnt, mom-2/Wnt and lin-17/Fz are necessary to maintain the division of Bgamma along a longitudinal axis. We also show that dbl-1/dpp acts either in parallel or downstream of EGF pathway to regulate ceh-13/Hox1 expression in Bgamma. Lastly, we find that a dbl-1/dpp null mutation did not cause any vulval or P12 defects and did not enhance vulval and P12 defects of reduction-of-function mutations of components of the EGF pathway.

CONCLUSIONS:

ceh-13/labial/Hox1 expression in Bgamma is regulated by the EGF pathway and downstream factors lin-1/ETS lin-31/Forkhead and sur-2/MED23. Wnt signaling is required for proper Bgamma division, perhaps to orient the Bgamma mitotic spindle. Our results suggest that dbl-1/dpp is not required for VPC and P12 specification, highlighting another difference among these EGF-dependent equivalence groups.

PMID:
20042118
PMCID:
PMC2813230
DOI:
10.1186/1471-213X-9-74
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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