Blastomeres in C. elegans embryos execute lineage programs wherein the fate of a cell is correlated reproducibly with the division sequence by which that cell is born. We provide evidence that the pop- 1 gene functions to link anterior-posterior cell divisions with cell fate decisions. Each anterior cell resulting from an anterior-posterior division appears to have a higher level of nuclear POP-1 protein than does its posterior sister. Genes in the C. elegans Wnt pathway are required for this inequality in POP-1 levels. We show that loss of pop-1(+) activity leads to several types of anterior cells adopting the fates of their posterior sisters. These results suggest a mechanism for the invariance of blastomere lineages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)