The maternal genes apx-1 and glp-1 and establishment of dorsal-ventral polarity in the early C. elegans embryo

Cell. 1994 Apr 8;77(1):95-106. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90238-0.


The sister blastomeres ABp and ABa are equipotent at the beginning of the 4-cell stage in C. elegans embryos, but soon become committed to different fates. We show that the glp-1 gene, a homolog of the Notch gene of Drosophila, functions in two distinct cell-cell interactions that specify the ABp and ABa fates. These interactions both require maternal expression of glp-1. We show that a second maternal gene, apx-1, functions with glp-1 only in the specification of the ABp fate and that apx-1 can encode a protein homologous to the Delta protein of Drosophila. Our results suggest how interactions mediated by glp-1 and apx-1 contribute to the establishment of the dorsal-ventral axis in the early C. elegans embryo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blastomeres / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Pharynx / embryology
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sodium Channels*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Glp-1 protein, C elegans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Sodium Channels
  • apx-1 protein, C elegans

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U07628