In C. elegans, the epithelial Pn.p cells adopt either a vulval precursor cell fate or fuse with the surrounding hypodermis (the F fate). Our results suggest that a Wnt signal transduced through a pathway involving the beta-catenin homolog BAR-1 controls whether P3.p through P8.p adopt the vulval precursor cell fate. In bar-1 mutants, P3.p through P8.p can adopt F fates instead of vulval precursor cell fates. The Wnt/bar-1 signaling pathway acts by regulating the expression of the Hox gene lin-39, since bar-1 is required for LIN-39 expression and forced lin-39 expression rescues the bar-1 mutant phenotype. LIN-39 activity is also regulated by the anchor cell signal/let-23 receptor tyrosine kinase/let-60 Ras signaling pathway. Our genetic and molecular experiments show that the vulval precursor cells can integrate the input from the BAR-1 and LET-60 Ras signaling pathways by coordinately regulating activity of the common target LIN-39 Hox.
The beta-catenin homolog BAR-1 and LET-60 Ras coordinately regulate the Hox gene lin-39 during Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development
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D.M. Eisenmann, J.N. Maloof, J.S. Simske, C. Kenyon, S.K. Kim; The beta-catenin homolog BAR-1 and LET-60 Ras coordinately regulate the Hox gene lin-39 during Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development. Development 15 September 1998; 125 (18): 3667–3680. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.125.18.3667
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