Genetic control of programmed cell death in the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite germline

Gumienny, T. L., Lambie, E., Hartwieg, E., Horvitz, H. R., Hengartner, M. O. (February 1999) Genetic control of programmed cell death in the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite germline. Development, 126 (5). pp. 1011-22. ISSN 0950-1991 (Print)

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927601

Abstract

Development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is highly reproducible and the fate of every somatic cell has been reported. We describe here a previously uncharacterized cell fate in C. elegans: we show that germ cells, which in hermaphrodites can differentiate into sperm and oocytes, also undergo apoptotic cell death. In adult hermaphrodites, over 300 germ cells die, using the same apoptotic execution machinery (ced-3, ced-4 and ced-9) as the previously described 131 somatic cell deaths. However, this machinery is activated by a distinct pathway, as loss of egl-1 function, which inhibits somatic cell death, does not affect germ cell apoptosis. Germ cell death requires ras/MAPK pathway activation and is used to maintain germline homeostasis. We suggest that apoptosis eliminates excess germ cells that acted as nurse cells to provide cytoplasmic components to maturing oocytes.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Apoptosis Caenorhabditis elegans/ cytology Germ Cells/ cytology Homeostasis Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. Sex Differentiation
Subjects: organism description > animal > C elegans
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell functions > apoptosis
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell functions > cell death
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > germ cell
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > germ cell
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > germ cell
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Hengartner lab
Depositing User: Kathleen Darby
Date: February 1999
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 15:51
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2014 15:51
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/29792

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