A homeotic gene cluster patterns the anteroposterior body axis of C. elegans

Cell. 1993 Jul 16;74(1):29-42. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(93)90292-x.


In insects and vertebrates, clusters of Antennapedia class homeobox (HOM-C) genes specify anteroposterior body pattern. The nematode C. elegans also contains a small cluster of HOM-C genes, one of which has been shown to specify positional identity. Here we show that two additional C. elegans HOM-C genes also specify positional identity and that together these three HOM-C genes function along the anteroposterior axis in the same order as their homologs in other organisms. Thus, HOM-C-based pattern formation has been conserved in nematodes despite the many differences in morphology and embryology that distinguish them from other phyla. Each C. elegans HOM-C gene is responsible for a distinct body region; however, where their domains overlap, two HOM-C genes can act together to specify the fates of individual cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Multigene Family*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L14569
  • GENBANK/L19247
  • GENBANK/L19248
  • GENBANK/L19249
  • GENBANK/L33709
  • GENBANK/S60902
  • GENBANK/S60903
  • GENBANK/S60904
  • GENBANK/S60905
  • GENBANK/S60924