Actomyosin contractility regulators stabilize the cytoplasmic bridge between the two primordial germ cells during Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis

Eugénie Goupil, Rana Amini, David H. Hall, Jean Claude Labbé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Stable cytoplasmic bridges arise from failed cytokinesis, the last step of cell division, and are a key feature of syncytial architectures in the germline of most metazoans. Whereas the Caenorhabditis elegans germline is syncytial, its formation remains poorly understood. We found that the germline precursor blastomere, P4, fails cytokinesis, leaving a stable cytoplasmic bridge between the two daughter cells, Z2 and Z3. Depletion of several regulators of actomyosin contractility resulted in a regression of the membrane partition between Z2 and Z3, indicating that they are required to stabilize the cytoplasmic bridge. Epistatic analysis revealed a pathway in which Rho regulators promote accumulation of the noncannonical anillin ANI-2 at the stable cytoplasmic bridge, which in turns promotes the accumulation of the nonmuscle myosin II NMY-2 and the midbody component CYK-7 at the bridge, in part by limiting the accumulation of canonical anillin ANI-1. Our results uncover key steps in C. elegans germline formation and define a set of conserved regulators that are enriched at the primordial germ cell cytoplasmic bridge to ensure its stability during embryonic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3789-3800
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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