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CYK-4/GAP Provides a Localized Cue to Initiate Anteroposterior Polarity upon Fertilization

Science  01 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5791, pp. 1298-1301
DOI: 10.1126/science.1130291

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Abstract

The Caenorhabditis elegans anteroposterior axis is established in response to fertilization by sperm. Here we present evidence that RhoA, the guanine nucleotide–exchange factor ECT-2, and the Rho guanosine triphosphatase–activating protein CYK-4 modulate myosin light-chain activity to create a gradient of actomyosin, which establishes the anterior domain. CYK-4 is enriched within sperm, and paternally donated CYK-4 is required for polarity. These data suggest that CYK-4 provides a molecular link between fertilization and polarity establishment in the one-cell embryo. Orthologs of CYK-4 are expressed in sperm of other species, which suggests that this cue may be evolutionarily conserved.

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