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Development. 1996 Jun;122(6):1791-8.

An inductive interaction in 4-cell stage C. elegans embryos involves APX-1 expression in the signalling cell.

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  • 1Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


During the 4-cell stage of C. elegans embryogenesis, the P2 blastomere provides a signal that allows two initially equivalent sister blastomeres, called ABa and ABp, to adopt different fates. Preventing P2 signalling in wild-type embryos results in defects in ABp development that are similar to those caused by mutations in the glp-1 and apx-1 genes, which are homologs of the Drosophila genes Notch and Delta, respectively. Previous studies have shown that GLP-1 protein is expressed in 4-cell stage embryos in both ABa and ABp. In this report, we show that APX-1 protein is expressed in the P2 blastomere and that a temperature-sensitive apx-1 mutant has a temperature-sensitive period between the 4-cell and 8-cell stages. We propose that APX-1 is part or all of the P2 signal that induces ABp to adopt a fate different than ABa.

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