Pix-1 controls early elongation in parallel with mel-11 and let-502 in Caenorhabditis elegans

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Cell shape changes are crucial for metazoan development. During Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis, epidermal cell shape changes transform ovoid embryos into vermiform larvae. This process is divided into two phases: early and late elongation. Early elongation involves the contraction of filamentous actin bundles by phosphorylated non-muscle myosin in a subset of epidermal (hypodermal) cells. The genes controlling early elongation are associated with two parallel pathways. The first one involves the rho-1/RHOA-specific effector let-502/Rho-kinase and mel-11/myosin phosphatase regulatory subunit. The second pathway involves the CDC42/RAC-specific effector pak-1. Late elongation is driven by mechanotransduction in ventral and dorsal hypodermal cells in response to body-wall muscle contractions, and involves the CDC42/RAC-specific Guanine-nucleotide Exchange Factor (GEF) pix-1, the GTPase ced-10/RAC and pak-1. In this study, pix-1 is shown to control early elongation in parallel with let-502/mel-11, as previously shown for pak-1. We show that pix-1, pak-1 and let-502 control the rate of elongation, and the antero-posterior morphology of the embryos. In particular, pix-1 and pak-1 are shown to control head, but not tail width, while let-502 controls both head and tail width. This suggests that let-502 function is required throughout the antero-posterior axis of the embryo during early elongation, while pix-1/pak-1 function may be mostly required in the anterior part of the embryo. Supporting this hypothesis we show that low pix-1 expression level in the dorsal-posterior hypodermal cells is required to ensure high elongation rate during early elongation.




Martin, E., Harel, S., Nkengfac, B., Hamiche, K., Neault, M., & Jenna, S. (2014). Pix-1 controls early elongation in parallel with mel-11 and let-502 in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS ONE, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094684

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free