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The conserved zinc finger protein VAB-23 is an essential regulator of epidermal morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans


Pellegrino, M W; Gasser, R B; Sprenger, F; Stetak, A; Hajnal, A (2009). The conserved zinc finger protein VAB-23 is an essential regulator of epidermal morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Developmental Biology, 336(1):84-93.

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent model to observe cell movements and shape changes during the morphogenesis of the egg-shaped embryo into an elongated tube-like larva. Although much is known about the structural determinants involved in epidermal morphogenesis, relatively little is known about the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory networks involved. Here, we describe the identification and functional characterization of the novel nuclear protein VAB-23, which belongs to a conserved protein family found in all metazoans. C. elegans VAB-23 is essential for ventral closure and elongation of the embryo. Time-lapse analysis indicates that VAB-23 is required for the formation of proper cell contacts between contralateral pairs of ventral epidermal cells. Tissue-specific rescue experiments reveal a function of VAB-23 in ventral neuroblasts that control the enclosure of the embryo by the overlaying epidermal cells. Finally, we provide evidence suggesting a role of VAB-23 in post-transcriptional gene regulation. We thus propose that VAB-23 regulates the expression of multiple secreted guidance cues in ventral neuroblasts that direct the migration of the overlaying epidermal cells. Members of the VAB-23 family may perform similar functions during morphogenesis in other metazoans.

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent model to observe cell movements and shape changes during the morphogenesis of the egg-shaped embryo into an elongated tube-like larva. Although much is known about the structural determinants involved in epidermal morphogenesis, relatively little is known about the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory networks involved. Here, we describe the identification and functional characterization of the novel nuclear protein VAB-23, which belongs to a conserved protein family found in all metazoans. C. elegans VAB-23 is essential for ventral closure and elongation of the embryo. Time-lapse analysis indicates that VAB-23 is required for the formation of proper cell contacts between contralateral pairs of ventral epidermal cells. Tissue-specific rescue experiments reveal a function of VAB-23 in ventral neuroblasts that control the enclosure of the embryo by the overlaying epidermal cells. Finally, we provide evidence suggesting a role of VAB-23 in post-transcriptional gene regulation. We thus propose that VAB-23 regulates the expression of multiple secreted guidance cues in ventral neuroblasts that direct the migration of the overlaying epidermal cells. Members of the VAB-23 family may perform similar functions during morphogenesis in other metazoans.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Morphogenesis; C. elegans; Epidermis; Embryo
Language:English
Date:30 September 2009
Deposited On:20 Nov 2009 09:03
Last Modified:10 Dec 2017 14:33
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0012-1606
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.09.036
PubMed ID:19799893

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