May 23, 2020

Polarized epidermal growth factor secretion ensures robust vulval cell fate specification in Caenorhabditis elegans

Louisa MereuAlex Hajnal


The anchor cell (AC) in C. elegans secretes an EGF homolog that induces adjacent vulval precursor cells (VPCs) to differentiate. The EGF receptor in the nearest VPC sequesters the limiting EGF amounts released by the AC to prevent EGF from spreading to distal VPCs. Here, we show that not only EGFR localization in the VPCs but also EGF polarity in the AC is necessary for robust fate specification. The AC secretes EGF in a directional manner towards the nearest VPC. Loss of AC polarity causes signal spreading and, when combined with MAPK pathway hyperactivation, the ectopic induction of distal VPCs. In a screen for genes preventing distal VPC induction, we identified sra-9 and nlp-26 as genes specifically required for polarized EGF secretion. sra-9(lf) and nlp-26(lf) mutants exhibit errors in vulval fate specification, reduced precision in VPC to AC alignment and increased variability in MAPK activation. sra-9 encodes a seven-pass trans-membrane receptor acting in the AC and nlp-26 a neuropeptide-like protein expressed in the VPCs. SRA-9 and NLP-26 may transduce a feedback signal to channel EGF secretion towards the nearest VPC.

  • References52
  • Citations


  • This paper may not have been cited yet.

Mentioned in this Paper

VPC Protocol
Ectopic (Qualifier Value)
Activation of Mapk Activity
Premature Ventricular Contractions
Distal Muscle
Steroid receptor RNA activator
Screening Generic

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Synthetic genetic arrays allow the systematic examination of genetic interactions. Here is the latest research focusing on synthetic genetic arrays and their analyses.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas account for >90% of all tumors in the head and neck region. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma incidence has increased dramatically recently with little improvement in patient outcomes. Here is the latest research on this aggressive malignancy.

Signaling in Adult Neurogenesis

Neural stem cells play a critical role in the production of neuronal cells in neurogenesis is of great importance. Of interest is the role signalling mechanisms in adult neurogenesis. Discover the latest research on signalling in adult neurogenesis.

Psychiatric Chronotherapy

Psychiatric Chronotherapy considers the circadian rhythm as a major factor for optimizing therapeutic efficacy of psychiatric interventions. Discover the latest research on Psychiatric Chronotherapy here.

Epigenetic Memory

Epigenetic memory refers to the heritable genetic changes that are not explained by the DNA sequence. Find the latest research on epigenetic memory here.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.