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Protein kinase VRK-1 regulates cell invasion and EGL-17/FGF signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

Klerkx, Elke P. F. and Alarcón, Pilar and Waters, Katherine and Reinke, Valerie and Sternberg, Paul W. and Askjaer, Peter (2009) Protein kinase VRK-1 regulates cell invasion and EGL-17/FGF signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans. Developmental Biology, 335 (1). pp. 12-21. ISSN 0012-1606. PMCID PMC3378332.

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The vaccinia-related kinases (VRKs) are highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom and phosphorylate several chromatin proteins and transcription factors. In early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, VRK-1 is required for proper nuclear envelope formation. In this work, we present the first investigation of the developmental role of VRKs by means of a novel C. elegans vrk-1 mutant allele. We found that VRK-1 is essential in hermaphrodites for formation of the vulva, uterus, and utse and for development and maintenance of the somatic gonad and thus the germ line. VRK-1 regulates anchor cell polarity and the timing of anchor cell invasion through the basement membranes separating vulval and somatic gonadal cells during the L3 larval stage. VRK-1 is also required for proper specification and proliferation of uterine cells and sex myoblasts. Expression of the fibroblast growth factor-like protein EGL-17 and its receptor EGL-15 is reduced in vrk-1 mutants, suggesting that VRK-1 might act at least partially through activation of FGF signaling. Expression of a translational VRK-1::GFP fusion protein in the ventral nerve cord and vulva precursor cells restores vulva and uterus formation, suggesting both cell autonomous and non-autonomous roles of VRK-1.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Additional Information:© 2009 Elsevier Inc. Received 19 March 2009; revised 3 August 2009; accepted 3 August 2009. Available online 11 August 2009. This work was funded by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Science (RYC-2003-001521, BFU-2004-01096, BFU-2007-60116) to PA. In addition, we wish to acknowledge EMBO and the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation for support to EK and Junta de Andalucía for institutional support. PWS is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We are grateful to C. Ayuso for excellent technical assistance. We wish to thank D. Sherwood and S. Tuck for providing strains, C. R. Dombecki for corrections on the manuscript, and two anonymous reviewers for constructive criticism. Some nematode strains used in this work were provided by the International C. elegans Gene Knockout Consortium and the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, which is funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministerio de Ciencia Y Tecnologia (MCYT)RYC-2003-001521
Ministerio de Ciencia Y Tecnologia (MCYT)BFU-2004-01096
Ministerio de Ciencia Y Tecnologia (MCYT)BFU-2007-60116
European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)UNSPECIFIED
Junta de AndalucíaUNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Anchor cell; Caenorhabditis elegans; Cell invasion; Cell polarity; Cell signaling; FGF; Uterus; Vaccinia-related kinase; vrk-1; Vulva
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC3378332
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091110-085633287
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Official Citation:Elke P.F. Klerkx, Pilar Alarcon, Katherine Waters, Valerie Reinke, Paul W. Sternberg, Peter Askjaer, Protein kinase VRK-1 regulates cell invasion and EGL-17/FGF signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans, Developmental Biology, Volume 335, Issue 1, 1 November 2009, Pages 12-21, ISSN 0012-1606, DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.08.007. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16635
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Nov 2009 18:27
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:14

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