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PloS one

Asymmetry of early endosome distribution in C. elegans embryos.


PMID 17551574

Abstract

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. 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 (1.3 microm/s) from the cortex directly to the centrosome, a speed comparable to that of the minus end directed motor dynein. We speculate that the asymmetry of early endosomes might play a role in cell asymmetries or fate decisions.

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