RRC ID 80894
Author Heinze SD, Berger S, Engleitner S, Daube M, Hajnal A.
Title Prolonging somatic cell proliferation through constitutive hox gene expression in C. elegans.
Journal Nat Commun
Abstract hox genes encode a conserved family of homeodomain transcription factors that are essential to determine the identity of body segments during embryogenesis and maintain adult somatic stem cells competent to regenerate organs. In contrast to higher organisms, somatic cells in C. elegans irreversibly exit the cell cycle after completing their cell lineage and the adult soma cannot regenerate. Here, we show that hox gene expression levels in C. elegans determine the temporal competence of somatic cells to proliferate. Down-regulation of the central hox gene lin-39 in dividing vulval cells results in their premature cell cycle exit, whereas constitutive lin-39 expression causes precocious Pn.p cell and sex myoblast divisions and prolongs the proliferative phase of the vulval cells past their normal point of arrest. Furthermore, ectopic expression of hox genes in the quiescent anchor cell re-activates the cell cycle and induces proliferation until young adulthood. Thus, constitutive expression of a single hox transcription factor is sufficient to prolong somatic cell proliferation beyond the restriction imposed by the cell lineage. The down-regulation of hox gene expression in most somatic cells at the end of larval development may be one cause for the absence of cell proliferation in adult C. elegans.
Volume 14(1)
Pages 6850
Published 2023-10-27
DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-42644-1
PII 10.1038/s41467-023-42644-1
PMID 37891160
PMC PMC10611754
MeSH Animals Caenorhabditis elegans* / metabolism Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins* / metabolism Cell Proliferation / genetics Female Gene Expression Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism Transcription Factors / metabolism Vulva / metabolism
C.elegans tm2114 tm2214