Atypical protein kinase C cooperates with PAR-3 to establish embryonic polarity in Caenorhabditis elegans

Yo Tabuse, Yasushi Izumi, Fabio Piano, Kenneth J. Kemphues, Johji Miwa, Shigeo Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Asymmetric cell divisions, critically important to specify cell types in the development of multicellular organisms, require polarized distribution of cytoplasmic components and the proper alignment of the mitotic apparatus. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the maternally expressed protein, PAR-3, is localized to one pole of asymmetrically dividing blastomeres and is required for these asymmetric divisions. In this paper, we report that an atypical protein kinase C (PKC-3) is essential for proper asymmetric cell divisions and co-localizes with PAR-3. Embryos depleted of PKC-3 by RNA interference die showing Par-like phenotypes including defects in early asymmetric divisions and mislocalized germline-specific granules (P granules). The defective phenotypes of PKC-3-depleted embryos are similar to those exhibited by mutants for par-3 and another par gene, par-6. Direct interaction of PKC-3 with PAR-3 is shown by in vitro binding analysis. This result is reinforced by the observation that PKC-3 and PAR-3 co-localize in vivo. Furthermore, PKC-3 and PAR-3 show mutual dependence on each other and on three of the other par genes for their localization. We conclude that PKC-3 plays an indispensable role in establishing embryonic polarity through interaction with PAR-3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3607-3614
Number of pages8
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Asymmetry
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell polarity
  • Par-3
  • aPKC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Atypical protein kinase C cooperates with PAR-3 to establish embryonic polarity in Caenorhabditis elegans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this