skn-1, a maternally expressed gene required to specify the fate of ventral blastomeres in the early C. elegans embryo

Bruce Bowerman, Benjamin A. Eaton, James R. Priess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

290 Scopus citations

Abstract

By the 4-cell stage of C. elegans embryogenesis, a ventral blastomere, called EMS, is already committed to producing pharyngeal and intestinal cell types. Recessive, maternal-effect mutations in the gene skn-1 prevent EMS from producing both pharyngeal and intestinal cells. In skn-1 mutant embryos, EMS instead produces hypodermal cells and body wall muscle cells, much like its sister blastomere. Genetic analysis suggests that the skn-1 gene product is also required required post-embryonically for development of the intestine. We have cloned and sequenced the skn-1 gene and describe sequence similarities to the basic regions of bZIP transcription factors. We propose that the maternally expressed skn-1 gene product acts to specify the fate of the EMS blastomere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1075
Number of pages15
JournalCell
Volume68
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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