Report

Control of Nonapoptotic Developmental Cell Death in Caenorhabditis elegans by a Polyglutamine-Repeat Protein

Science  24 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6071, pp. 970-973
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215156

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Abstract

Death is a vital developmental cell fate. In Caenorhabditis elegans, programmed death of the linker cell, which leads gonadal elongation, proceeds independently of caspases and apoptotic effectors. To identify genes promoting linker-cell death, we performed a genome-wide RNA interference screen. We show that linker-cell death requires the gene pqn-41, encoding an endogenous polyglutamine-repeat protein. pqn-41 functions cell-autonomously and is expressed at the onset of linker-cell death. pqn-41 expression is controlled by the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase SEK-1, which functions in parallel to the zinc-finger protein LIN-29 to promote cellular demise. Linker-cell death is morphologically similar to cell death associated with normal vertebrate development and polyglutamine-induced neurodegeneration. Our results may therefore provide molecular inroads to understanding nonapoptotic cell death in metazoan development and disease.

View Full Text