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    Asymmetric cell division is essential for the creation of cell types with different identities and functions. The EMS blastomere of the four-cell Caenorhabditis elegans embryo undergoes an asymmetric division in response to partially redundant signaling pathways. One pathway involves a Wnt signal emanating from the neighboring P2 cell, while the other pathway is defined by the receptor-like MES-1 protein localized at the EMS/P2 cell contact, and the cytoplasmic kinase SRC-1. In response to these pathways, the EMS nuclear-centrosome complex rotates so that the spindle forms on the anterior-posterior axis; after division, the daughter cell contacting P2 becomes the endodermal precursor cell. Here we identify the Rac1 homolog, CED-10, as a new component of the MES-1/SRC-1 pathway. Loss of CED-10 affects both spindle positioning and endoderm specification. Although MES-1 is still present at the EMS/P2 contact in ced-10 embryos, SRC-1 dependent phosphorylation is reduced. These and other results suggest that CED-10 acts downstream of MES-1 and upstream of, or at the level of, SRC-1 activity. In addition, we find that the branched actin regulator ARX-2 is enriched at the EMS/P2 cell contact site, in a CED-10 dependent manner. Loss of ARX-2 results in spindle positioning defects, suggesting that CED-10 acts through branched actin to promote the asymmetric division of the EMS cell.


    Helen Lamb, Małgorzata Liro, Krista Myles, McKenzi Fernholz, Holly Anderson, Lesilee S Rose. The Rac1 homolog CED-10 is a component of the MES-1/SRC-1 pathway for asymmetric division of the C. elegans EMS blastomere. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology. 2024 May 02

    PMID: 38645195

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