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Development. 1998 Mar;125(6):1083-93.

EGL-17(FGF) expression coordinates the attraction of the migrating sex myoblasts with vulval induction in C. elegans.

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Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8005, USA.


During the development of the egg-laying system in Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites, central gonadal cells organize the alignment of the vulva with the sex myoblasts, the progenitors of the egg-laying muscles. A fibroblast growth factor [EGL-17(FGF)] and an FGF receptor [EGL-15(FGFR)] are involved in the gonadal signals that guide the migrations of the sex myoblasts. Here we show that EGL-17(FGF) can act as an instructive guidance cue to direct the sex myoblasts to their final destinations. We find that egl-17 reporter constructs are expressed in the primary vulval cell and that EGL-17(FGF) expression in this cell correlates with the precise positioning of the sex myoblasts. We postulate that EGL-17(FGF) helps to coordinate the development of a functional egg-laying system, linking vulval induction with proper sex myoblast migration.

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