Cell fate specification by Ras-mediated cell signalling in C. elegans
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Induction of vulval fates in the C. elegans hermaphrodite is mediated by a conserved RTK/Ras/MAP kinase signalling pathway, in which the core components can be placed into a linear genetic and biochemical pathway. However, the events that occur downstream of this pathway are not yet well understood. This thesis describes studies on three genes, lin-1, lin-25 and sur-2 that function genetically downstream of the RTK/Ras/MAP kinase pathway in vulva induction. lin-1 encodes an ETS protein that appears to be a direct target of the RTK/Ras/MAP kinase pathway during the induction of vulval fates. To understand more in detail how Ras signalling in C. elegans affects cell fate specification we have analysed the effects of lin-1 mutations on various Ras-mediated cell fate specification events. Our results show that lin-1, besides its function in vulval induction, functions in most other Ras-mediated cell fate specification events in C. elegans, and that lin-1 appears to have a negative function in a majority of these events. Two other genes, lin-25 and sur-2, also function genetically downstream of the RTK/Ras/MAP kinase pathway during induction of vulval fates. Previously, two different models have been proposed for the function of these genes (I) that they function together with a gene in the homeotic cluster to specify the identity of the vulval precursor cells or (II) that they constitute components of the RTK/Ras/MAP kinase signalling pathway. To help clarify the role of lin-25 and sur-2, we have caried out studies of the effects of lin-25 and sur-2 mutations on other cells in the worm in which the RTK/Ras/MAP kinase pathway functions. The results exclude the possibility that lin-25 and sur-2 solely function in vulva induction and suggest that the two genes are intimately involved in Ras-mediated signalling. In addition we show that the major focus for lin-25 during vulval induction is in the vulva precursor cells themselves. Furthermore, results presented here suggest that LIN-25 and SUR-2 function together in the same process in the cell. We show here by both genetic and immunological experiments that LIN-25 is associated with Mediator in C. elegans, a multiprotein complex required for transcriptional regulation. Taken together, these results suggest that lin-25 and sur-2 function in regulating transcription of genes in response to Ras signalling.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå centrum för molekylär patogenes (UCMP) (Medicinska fakulteten) , 2003. , 49 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 857
Cell and molecular biology, cell signalling, Ras, vulva precursor cell, lin-25, sur-2, lin-1, cell fate specification, Mediator, vulva induction, transcriptional regulation
Cell- och molekylärbiologi
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120ISBN: 91-7305-525-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120DiVA: diva2:140482
2003-10-31, E04, 6E, Umeå, 13:00
Podbilewicz, Benjamin, Ph.D
Tuck, Simon, Docent
List of papers