MBG Journal Club: Presenter, Thao Phan – Holland Lab

October 9, 2020 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

2020 / 2021 MBG Journal Club:

Genetic control of programmed cell death in the nematode C.elegans

 Presentation by Thao Phan (Holland Lab)



By the mid-1960s, developmental biologists had come to appreciate that in addition to necrosis, which often occurs following tissue injury, cells can also die naturally during normal development. It was suggested that this form of “programmed cell suicide”, later termed “apoptosis”, is genetically controlled, but the genes responsible for this process remained unknown. In 1983, utilizing of the uniquely tractable C.elegans system, John Sulston el at. identified mutations in ced-1ced-2 and nuc-1 genes that are involved in apoptosis. Building upon this work, in 1986, Robert Horvitz et al. discovered the first two bona fide “death genes”, ced-3 and ced-4, that function upstream of ced-1ced-2, and nuc-1 to initiate cell death. The results of these seminal discoveries paved the way for our molecular understanding of apoptosis, a fundamental cellular process not only in C.elegans but also in human development and diseases.


Ellis HM, Horvitz HR. Genetic control of programmed cell death in the nematodeC.elegans.  Cell. 1986 Mar 28;44(6):817-29. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90004-8. PMID: 3955651.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0092867486900048?via%3Dihub

Date:  Friday, October 9, 2020, 3:00 PM

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