C. elegans CED-12 acts in the conserved crkII/DOCK180/Rac pathway to control cell migration and cell corpse engulfment

Dev Cell. 2001 Oct;1(4):491-502. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(01)00056-9.


We have identified and characterized a novel C. elegans gene, ced-12, that functions in the conserved GTPase signaling pathway mediated by CED-2/Crkll, CED-5/DOCK180, and CED-10/Rac to control cell migration and phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. We provide evidence that ced-12 likely acts upstream of ced-10 during cell migration and phagocytosis and that CED-12 physically interacts with CED-5 and forms a ternary complex with CED-2 in vitro. We propose that the formation and localization of a CED-2-CED-5-CED-12 ternary complex to the plasma membrane activates CED-10, leading to the cytoskeletal reorganization that occurs in the polarized extension of cell surfaces in engulfing cells and migrating cells. We suggest that CED-12 counterparts in higher organisms regulate cytoskeleton dynamics, as CED-12 does in C. elegans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins*
  • Helminth Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Phagocytosis / physiology*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-crk
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins*
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • CED-10 protein, C elegans
  • CED-12 protein, C elegans
  • CED-5 protein, C elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DOCK1 protein, human
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-crk
  • Protein Kinases
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF324505