Development of the C. Elegans Digestive Tract

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2010 Aug;20(4):346-54. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2010.04.012. Epub 2010 Jun 1.

Abstract

The C. elegans digestive tract (pharynx, intestine, and rectum) contains only approximately 100 cells but develops under the control of the same types of transcription factors (e.g. FoxA and GATA factors) that control digestive tract development in far more complex animals. The GATA-factor dominated core regulatory hierarchy directing development of the homogenous clonal intestine from oocyte to mature organ is now known with some degree of certainty, setting the stage for more biochemical experiments to understand developmental mechanisms. The FoxA-factor dominated development of the pharynx (and rectum) is less well understood but is beginning to reveal how transcription factor combinations produce unique cell types within organs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Lineage
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • GATA Transcription Factors / genetics
  • GATA Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • GATA Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / cytology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / embryology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / embryology
  • Pharynx / cytology
  • Pharynx / embryology
  • Rectum / cytology
  • Rectum / embryology
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / physiology

Substances

  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • GATA Transcription Factors
  • Pha-4 protein, C elegans
  • Trans-Activators