JOURNAL ARTICLE

The beta-catenin homolog BAR-1 and LET-60 Ras coordinately regulate the Hox gene lin-39 during Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development

D M Eisenmann, J N Maloof, J S Simske, C Kenyon, S K Kim
Development 1998, 125 (18): 3667-80
9716532
In C. elegans, the epithelial Pn.p cells adopt either a vulval precursor cell fate or fuse with the surrounding hypodermis (the F fate). Our results suggest that a Wnt signal transduced through a pathway involving the beta-catenin homolog BAR-1 controls whether P3.p through P8.p adopt the vulval precursor cell fate. In bar-1 mutants, P3.p through P8.p can adopt F fates instead of vulval precursor cell fates. The Wnt/bar-1 signaling pathway acts by regulating the expression of the Hox gene lin-39, since bar-1 is required for LIN-39 expression and forced lin-39 expression rescues the bar-1 mutant phenotype. LIN-39 activity is also regulated by the anchor cell signal/let-23 receptor tyrosine kinase/let-60 Ras signaling pathway. Our genetic and molecular experiments show that the vulval precursor cells can integrate the input from the BAR-1 and LET-60 Ras signaling pathways by coordinately regulating activity of the common target LIN-39 Hox.

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