lin-35 Rb acts in the major hypodermis to oppose ras-mediated vulval induction in C. elegans

Dev Cell. 2005 Jan;8(1):117-23. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2004.11.015.


Specification of vulval precursor cell (VPC) fates in C. elegans has served as an important signal transduction paradigm. Genetic studies have indicated that a large group of synthetic multivulva (SynMuv) genes, including the Rb ortholog lin-35, antagonizes the activity of the EGF receptor-Ras-MAP kinase pathway during VPC specification. A prevalent view has been that Rb-mediated transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling activities act in the VPCs to antagonize Ras activation through effects on promoters of target genes of the EGF receptor-Ras-MAP kinase pathway that promote vulval fates. Here, we have investigated the cellular focus of lin-35 using conventional genetic mosaic analysis and tissue-specific expression. Our results indicate that lin-35 activity is required in the major hypodermal syncytium and not in the VPCs to inhibit vulval fates. LIN-35 Rb may inhibit vulval fates by regulating a signal from hyp7 to the VPCs or the physiological state of hyp7.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Embryonic Induction / physiology
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Microinjections / methods
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Subcutaneous Tissue / embryology
  • Subcutaneous Tissue / metabolism*
  • Vulva / cytology*
  • Vulva / embryology
  • ras Proteins / genetics
  • ras Proteins / metabolism
  • ras Proteins / physiology*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • lin-35 protein, C elegans
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • ras Proteins