C. elegans as a model for membrane traffic

WormBook. 2014 Apr 25:1-47. doi: 10.1895/wormbook.1.77.2.


The counterbalancing action of the endocytosis and secretory pathways maintains a dynamic equilibrium that regulates the composition of the plasma membrane, allowing it to maintain homeostasis and to change rapidly in response to alterations in the extracellular environment and/or intracellular metabolism. These pathways are intimately integrated with intercellular signaling systems and play critical roles in all cells. Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed diverse roles of membrane trafficking in physiology and development and have also provided molecular insight into the fundamental mechanisms that direct cargo sorting, vesicle budding, and membrane fisson and fusion. In this review, we summarize progress in understanding membrane trafficking mechanisms derived from work in C. elegans, focusing mainly on work done in non-neuronal cell-types, especially the germline, early embryo, coelomocytes, and intestine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Exocytosis / physiology