POP-1 and anterior-posterior fate decisions in C. elegans embryos

Cell. 1998 Jan 23;92(2):229-39. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80917-4.


Blastomeres in C. elegans embryos execute lineage programs wherein the fate of a cell is correlated reproducibly with the division sequence by which that cell is born. We provide evidence that the pop-1 gene functions to link anterior-posterior cell divisions with cell fate decisions. Each anterior cell resulting from an anterior-posterior division appears to have a higher level of nuclear POP-1 protein than does its posterior sister. Genes in the C. elegans Wnt pathway are required for this inequality in POP-1 levels. We show that loss of pop-1(+) activity leads to several types of anterior cells adopting the fates of their posterior sisters. These results suggest a mechanism for the invariance of blastomere lineages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Blastomeres / chemistry
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Genes, Helminth / physiology
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / analysis
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • pop-1 protein, C elegans