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Small GTPase CDC-42 promotes apoptotic cell corpse clearance in response to PAT-2 and CED-1 in C. elegans


Neukomm, Lukas J; Zeng, Sheng; Frei, Andreas P; Huegli, Philip A; Hengartner, Michael O (2014). Small GTPase CDC-42 promotes apoptotic cell corpse clearance in response to PAT-2 and CED-1 in C. elegans. Cell Death and Differentiation, 21(6):845-853.

Abstract

The rapid clearance of dying cells is important for the well-being of multicellular organisms. In C. elegans, cell corpse removal is mainly mediated by three parallel engulfment signaling cascades. These pathways include two small GTPases, MIG-2/RhoG and CED-10/Rac1. Here we present the identification and characterization of CDC-42 as a third GTPase involved in the regulation of cell corpse clearance. Genetic analyses performed by both loss of cdc-42 function and cdc-42 overexpression place cdc-42 in parallel to the ced-2/5/12 signaling module, in parallel to or upstream of the ced-10 module, and downstream of the ced-1/6/7 module. CDC-42 accumulates in engulfing cells at membranes surrounding apoptotic corpses. The formation of such halos depends on the integrins PAT-2/PAT-3, UNC-112 and the GEF protein UIG-1, but not on the canonical ced-1/6/7 or ced-2/5/12 signaling modules. Together, our results suggest that the small GTPase CDC-42 regulates apoptotic cell engulfment possibly upstream of the canonical Rac GTPase CED-10, by polarizing the engulfing cell toward the apoptotic corpse in response to integrin signaling and ced-1/6/7 signaling in C. elegans.

Abstract

The rapid clearance of dying cells is important for the well-being of multicellular organisms. In C. elegans, cell corpse removal is mainly mediated by three parallel engulfment signaling cascades. These pathways include two small GTPases, MIG-2/RhoG and CED-10/Rac1. Here we present the identification and characterization of CDC-42 as a third GTPase involved in the regulation of cell corpse clearance. Genetic analyses performed by both loss of cdc-42 function and cdc-42 overexpression place cdc-42 in parallel to the ced-2/5/12 signaling module, in parallel to or upstream of the ced-10 module, and downstream of the ced-1/6/7 module. CDC-42 accumulates in engulfing cells at membranes surrounding apoptotic corpses. The formation of such halos depends on the integrins PAT-2/PAT-3, UNC-112 and the GEF protein UIG-1, but not on the canonical ced-1/6/7 or ced-2/5/12 signaling modules. Together, our results suggest that the small GTPase CDC-42 regulates apoptotic cell engulfment possibly upstream of the canonical Rac GTPase CED-10, by polarizing the engulfing cell toward the apoptotic corpse in response to integrin signaling and ced-1/6/7 signaling in C. elegans.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:07 Nov 2014 10:09
Last Modified:08 Aug 2017 08:52
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1350-9047
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation, canton of Zurich
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/cdd.2014.23
PubMed ID:24632947

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