The Ras-ERK MAPK regulatory network controls dedifferentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans germline.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Jul 17;
Authors: Cha DS, Datla US, Hollis SE, Kimble J, Lee MH
How a committed cell can be reverted to an undifferentiated state is a central question in stem cell biology. This process, called dedifferentiation, is likely to be important for replacing stem cells as they age or get damaged. Tremendous progress has been made in understanding this fundamental process, but its mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that the aberrant activation of Ras-ERK MAPK signaling promotes cellular dedifferentiation in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline. To activate signaling, we removed two negative regulators, the PUF-8 RNA-binding protein and LIP-1 dual specificity phosphatase. Removal of both of these two regulators caused secondary spermatocytes to dedifferentiate and begin mitotic divisions. Interestingly, reduction of Ras-ERK MAPK signaling, either by mutation or chemical inhibition, blocked the initiation of dedifferentiation. By RNAi screening, we identified RSKN-1/P90(RSK) as a downstream effector of MPK-1/ERK that is critical for dedifferentiation: rskn-1 RNAi suppressed spermatocyte dedifferentiation and instead induced meiotic divisions. These regulators are broadly conserved, suggesting that similar molecular circuitry may control cellular dedifferentiation in other organisms, including humans.
PMID: 22820175 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]Visit Source