Components of the SWI/SNF complex are required for asymmetric cell division in C. elegans

Mol Cell. 2000 Sep;6(3):617-24. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)00060-5.


Asymmetric cell division is a fundamental process that produces cellular diversity during development. We have identified two mutants in C. elegans (psa-1 and psa-4) in which the asymmetry of T cell division is disrupted. psa-1 and psa-4 encode homologs of yeast SWI3 and SWI2/SNF2, respectively, which are components of the SWI/SNF complex. We show by RNA interference assay that homologs of other components of SWI/SNF are also involved in T cell division. psa-1 and psa-4 are likely to be required in the T cell during mitosis to cause asymmetric cell division. Because the SWI/SNF complex is required for asymmetric division in S. cerevisiae, these results demonstrate that at least some aspects of the mechanism of asymmetric cell division are conserved between yeast and a multicellular organism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Mitosis / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • SWI3 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • SNF2 protein, S cerevisiae

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF230279
  • GENBANK/AF230280