A Caltech Library Service

Both entry to and exit from diapause arrest in Caenorhabditis elegans are regulated by a steroid hormone pathway

Zhang, Mark G. and Sternberg, Paul W. (2022) Both entry to and exit from diapause arrest in Caenorhabditis elegans are regulated by a steroid hormone pathway. Development, 149 (9). Art. No. dev200173. ISSN 0950-1991. PMCID PMC9148571. doi:10.1242/dev.200173.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Diapause arrest in animals such as Caenorhabditis elegans is tightly regulated so that animals make appropriate developmental decisions amidst environmental challenges. Fully understanding diapause requires mechanistic insight of both entry and exit from the arrested state. Although a steroid hormone pathway regulates the entry decision into C. elegans dauer diapause, its role in the exit decision is less clear. A complication to understanding steroid hormonal regulation of dauer has been the peculiar fact that steroid hormone mutants such as daf-9 form partial dauers under normal growth conditions. Here, we corroborate previous findings that daf-9 mutants remain capable of forming full dauers under unfavorable growth conditions and establish that the daf-9 partial dauer state is likely a partially exited dauer that has initiated but cannot complete the dauer exit process. We show that the steroid hormone pathway is both necessary for and promotes complete dauer exit, and that the spatiotemporal dynamics of steroid hormone regulation during dauer exit resembles that of dauer entry. Overall, dauer entry and dauer exit are distinct developmental decisions that are both controlled by steroid hormone signaling.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle Paper
Zhang, Mark G.0000-0002-0802-300X
Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Alternate Title:Entry to and exit from diapause arrest in Caenorhabditis elegans are both regulated by a steroid hormone pathway
Additional Information:© 2022. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed. Received:06 Sep 2021; Accepted: 24 Mar 2022. Δ7-DA was a gift from the lab of Frank Schroeder (Cornell University). We thank Mengyi Cao and Stephanie Nava for the XXX cGAL driver. Some strains were provided by the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, which is funded by National Institutes of Health Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P40 OD010440). We are grateful to members of the Sternberg lab for their feedback on the manuscript, particularly Hillel Schwartz. M.G.Z. was funded by National Institutes of Health Grant F31 NS120501-01. A National Institutes of Health Grant UF1-NS111697 (P.W.S.) supported the research material and research assistance. Open access funding provided by California Institute of Technology. Deposited in PMC for immediate release. Author contributions: Conceptualization: M.G.Z., P.W.S.; Methodology: M.G.Z.; Formal analysis: M.G.Z.; Investigation: M.G.Z., P.W.S.; Data curation: M.G.Z.; Writing - original draft: M.G.Z.; Writing - review & editing: M.G.Z., P.W.S.; Supervision: P.W.S.; Project administration: M.G.Z.; Funding acquisition: M.G.Z., P.W.S. The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH Postdoctoral FellowshipF31 NS120501-01
NIHP40 OD010440
Subject Keywords:Dauer, Diapause, Hormone, Decision, daf-9, daf-12
Issue or Number:9
PubMed Central ID:PMC9148571
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210910-174112976
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Mark G. Zhang, Paul W. Sternberg; Both entry to and exit from diapause arrest in Caenorhabditis elegans are regulated by a steroid hormone pathway. Development 1 May 2022; 149 (9): dev200173. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110804
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Sep 2021 20:16
Last Modified:05 Jul 2022 18:46

Repository Staff Only: item control page