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The anterior visceral endoderm (AVE) has attracted recent attention as a critical player in mouse forebrain development and has been proposed to act as "head organizer" in mammals. However, the precise role of the AVE in induction and patterning of the anterior neuroectoderm is not yet known. Here we identified a 5'-flanking region of the mouse Otx2 gene(More)
The Otx2 gene, containing a highly conserved paired-type homeobox, plays a pivotal role in the development of the rostral head throughout vertebrates. Precise regulation of the temporal and spatial expression of Otx2 is likely to be crucial for proper head specification. However, regulatory mechanisms of Otx2 expression remain largely unknown. In this(More)
How autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved intracellular catabolic system for bulk degradation, selectively degrades protein aggregates is poorly understood. Here, we show that several maternally derived germ P granule components are selectively eliminated by autophagy in somatic cells during C. elegans embryogenesis. The activity of sepa-1 is required for(More)
The molecular understanding of autophagy has originated almost exclusively from yeast genetic studies. Little is known about essential autophagy components specific to higher eukaryotes. Here we perform genetic screens in C. elegans and identify four metazoan-specific autophagy genes, named epg-2, -3, -4, and -5. Genetic analysis reveals that epg-2, -3, -4,(More)
Previous analysis employing chimeric and transgenic rescue experiments has suggested that Otx2 is required in the neuroectoderm for development of the forebrain region. In order to elucidate the precise role of Otx2 in forebrain development, we attempted to generate an allelic series of Otx2 mutations by Flp- and Cre-mediated recombination for the(More)
Mice heterozygous for the Otx2 mutation display a craniofacial malformation, known as otocephaly or agnathia-holoprosencephaly complex. The severity of the phenotype is dependent on the genetic background of a C57BL/6 (B6) strain; most of the offspring of Otx2 knock-out chimeras, which are equivalent to the F(1) of CBA and B6 strains, backcrossed with B6(More)
The molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of neurons with defined neurotransmitters are not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that the PcG-like genes in Caenorhabditis elegans, sop-2 and sor-3, regulate the formation of dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons and several other neuronal properties. sor-3 encodes a novel protein containing(More)
Stem cells undergo symmetric and asymmetric division to maintain the dynamic equilibrium of the stem cell pool and also to generate a variety of differentiated cells. The homeostatic mechanism controlling the choice between self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells is poorly understood. We show here that ceh-16, encoding the C. elegans ortholog of the(More)
The C. elegans Hox gene egl-5 (ortholog of Drosophila Abdominal-B) is expressed in multiple tissues in the tail region and is involved in tail patterning. In this study, we identify and clone the corresponding C. elegans orthologs of the components of the heterotrimeric transcription factor NFY, nfya-1, nfyb-1 and nfyc-1 and demonstrate that mutations in(More)
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process that involves the engulfment of cytoplasmic contents in a closed double-membrane structure, called the autophagosome, and their subsequent delivery to the vacuole/lysosomes for degradation. Genetic screens in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have identified more than 30 autophagy-related (Atg) genes that(More)