The Caenorhabditis elegans ect-2 RhoGEF gene regulates cytokinesis and migration of epidermal P cells

EMBO Rep. 2005 Dec;6(12):1163-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.embor.7400533.


A reduction-of-function mutation in ect-2 was isolated as a suppressor of the Multivulva phenotype of a lin-31 mutation. Analysis using markers indicates that this mutation causes defects in both the cytokinesis and migration of epidermal P cells, phenotypes similar to those caused by expressing a rho-1 dominant-negative construct. ect-2 encodes the Caenorhabditis elegans orthologue of the mouse Ect2 and Drosophila Pebble that function as guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for Rho GTPases. The ect-2Colon, two colonsGFP reporter is expressed in embryonic cells and P cells. RNA interference of ect-2 causes sterility and embryonic lethality, in addition to the P-cell defects. We have determined the lesions of two ect-2 alleles, and described their differences in phenotypes in specific tissues. We propose a model in which ECT-2GEF not only activates RHO-1 for P-cell cytokinesis, but also collaborates with UNC-73GEF and at least two Rac proteins to regulate P-cell migration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Movement
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes
  • Consensus Sequence
  • Cytokinesis*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Female
  • Genes, Helminth*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Markers
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / genetics
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Sequence Deletion


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Ect-2 protein, C elegans
  • Genetic Markers
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins