Polarity mediates asymmetric trafficking of the G beta heterotrimeric G-protein subunit GPB-1 in C. elegans embryos

Asymmetric cell division is an evolutionarily conserved process that gives rise to daughter cells with different fates. In one-cell stage C. elegans embryos, this process is accompanied by asymmetric spindle positioning, which is regulated by anterior-posterior (A-P) polarity cues and driven by force generators located at the cell membrane. These force generators comprise two G alpha proteins, the coiled-coil protein LIN-5 and the GoLoco protein GPR-1/2. The distribution of GPR-1/2 at the cell membrane is asymmetric during mitosis, with more protein present on the posterior side, an asymmetry that is thought to be crucial for asymmetric spindle positioning. The mechanisms by which the distribution of components such as GPR-1/2 is regulated in time and space are incompletely understood. Here, we report that the distribution of the G beta subunit GPB-1, a negative regulator of force generators, varies across the cell cycle, with levels at the cell membrane being lowest during mitosis. Furthermore, we uncover that GPB-1 trafficks through the endosomal network in a dynamin-and RAB-5-dependent manner, which is most apparent during mitosis. We find that GPB-1 trafficking is more pronounced on the anterior side and that this asymmetry is regulated by A-P polarity cues. In addition, we demonstrate that GPB-1 depletion results in the loss of GPR-1/2 asymmetry during mitosis. Overall, our results lead us to propose that modulation of G beta trafficking plays a crucial role during the asymmetric division of one-cell stage C. elegans embryos.

Published in:
Development, 138, 13, 2773-2782

 Record created 2011-12-16, last modified 2018-03-17

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