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PLoS One. 2018 Apr 18;13(4):e0195855. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195855. eCollection 2018.

The Caenorhabditis elegans gene ham-1 regulates daughter cell size asymmetry primarily in divisions that produce a small anterior daughter cell.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America.
Developmental Biology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, New York City, New York, United States of America.


C. elegans cell divisions that produce an apoptotic daughter cell exhibit Daughter Cell Size Asymmetry (DCSA), producing a larger surviving daughter cell and a smaller daughter cell fated to die. Genetic screens for mutants with defects in apoptosis identified several genes that are also required for the ability of these divisions to produce daughter cells that differ in size. One of these genes, ham-1, encodes a putative transcription factor that regulates a subset of the asymmetric cell divisions that produce an apoptotic daughter cell. In a survey of C. elegans divisions, we found that ham-1 mutations affect primarily anterior/posterior divisions that produce a small anterior daughter cell. The affected divisions include those that generate an apoptotic cell as well as those that generate two surviving cells. Our findings suggest that HAM-1 primarily promotes DCSA in a certain class of asymmetric divisions.

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