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Asymmetry of Early Endosome Distribution in C. elegans Robert Andrews, Julie Ahringer*
 

Summary: Asymmetry of Early Endosome Distribution in C. elegans
Embryos
Robert Andrews, Julie Ahringer*
The Gurdon Institute and Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Background. Endocytosis is involved in the regulation of many cellular events, including signalling, cell migration, and cell
polarity. To begin to investigate roles for endocytosis in early C. elegans development, we examined the distribution and
dynamics of early endosomes (EEs) in embryos. Methodology/Principal Findings. EEs are primarily found at the cell
periphery with an initially uniform distribution after fertilization. Strikingly, we find that during the first cell cycle, EEA-1
positive EEs become enriched at the anterior cortex. In contrast, the Golgi compartment shows no asymmetry in distribution.
Asymmetric enrichment of EEs depends on acto-myosin contractility and embryonic PAR polarity. In addition to their
localization at the cortex, EEs are also found around the centrosome. These EEs move rapidly (1.3um/s) from the cortex directly
to the centrosome, a speed comparable to that of the minus end directed motor dynein. Conclusions/Significance. We
speculate that the asymmetry of early endosomes might play a role in cell asymmetries or fate decisions.
Citation: Andrews R, Ahringer J (2007) Asymmetry of Early Endosome Distribution in C. elegans Embryos. PLoS ONE 2(6): e493. doi:10.1371/
journal.pone.0000493
INTRODUCTION
Early endosomes (EEs) play a role in diverse cellular processes
(reviewed in [1]). After endocytosis from the plasma membrane,
material is delivered to EEs, the first compartment of the
endosomal system. EEs are of particular interest as they are

  

Source: Ahringe, Julie - Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine