Scientific article

MAP kinase signaling antagonizes PAR-1 function during polarization of the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo

Published inGenetics, vol. 183, no. 3, p. 965-977
Publication date2009

PAR proteins (partitioning defective) are major regulators of cell polarity and asymmetric cell division. One of the par genes, par-1, encodes a Ser/Thr kinase that is conserved from yeast to mammals. In Caenorhabditis elegans, par-1 governs asymmetric cell division by ensuring the polar distribution of cell fate determinants. However the precise mechanisms by which PAR-1 regulates asymmetric cell division in C. elegans remain to be elucidated. We performed a genomewide RNAi screen and identified six genes that specifically suppress the embryonic lethal phenotype associated with mutations in par-1. One of these suppressors is mpk-1, the C. elegans homolog of the conserved mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase ERK. Loss of function of mpk-1 restored embryonic viability, asynchronous cell divisions, the asymmetric distribution of cell fate specification markers, and the distribution of PAR-1 protein in par-1 mutant embryos, indicating that this genetic interaction is functionally relevant for embryonic development. Furthermore, disrupting the function of other components of the MAPK signaling pathway resulted in suppression of par-1 embryonic lethality. Our data therefore indicates that MAP kinase signaling antagonizes PAR-1 signaling during early C. elegans embryonic polarization.

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans/embryology/genetics/ metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics/ metabolism
  • Cell Polarity/genetics/physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/cytology/embryology/ metabolism
  • Epistasis, Genetic
  • Genome, Helminth/genetics
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics/physiology
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/genetics/ metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases/genetics/ metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Time Factors
Citation (ISO format)
SPILKER, A. C. et al. MAP kinase signaling antagonizes PAR-1 function during polarization of the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. In: Genetics, 2009, vol. 183, n° 3, p. 965–977. doi: 10.1534/genetics.109.106716
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal0016-6731

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