Restriction of Mesendoderm to a Single Blastomere by the Combined Action of SKN-1 and a GSK-3beta Homolog Is Mediated by MED-1 and -2 in C. Elegans

Mol Cell. 2001 Mar;7(3):475-85. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(01)00195-2.

Abstract

The endoderm and much of the mesoderm arise from the EMS cell in the four-cell C. elegans embryo. We report that the MED-1 and -2 GATA factors specify the entire fate of EMS, which otherwise produces two C-like mesectodermal progenitors. The meds are direct targets of the maternal SKN-1 transcription factor; however, their forced expression can direct SKN-1-independent reprogramming of non-EMS cells into mesendodermal progenitors. We find that SGG-1/GSK-3beta kinase acts both as a Wnt-dependent activator of endoderm in EMS and an apparently Wnt-independent repressor of the meds in the C lineage, indicating a dual role for this kinase in mesendoderm development. Our results suggest that a broad tissue territory, mesendoderm, in vertebrates has been confined to a single cell in nematodes through a common gene regulatory network.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blastomeres / cytology
  • Blastomeres / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Endoderm / metabolism*
  • Erythroid-Specific DNA-Binding Factors
  • GATA Transcription Factors
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Helminth Proteins / chemistry
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Helminth Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mesoderm / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*

Substances

  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Erythroid-Specific DNA-Binding Factors
  • GATA Transcription Factors
  • Helminth Proteins
  • MED-1 protein, C elegans
  • MED-2 protein, C elegans
  • POS-1 protein, C elegans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • skn-1 protein, C elegans
  • DNA
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3