Apoptotic cell death is an integral part of cell turnover in many tissues, and proper corpse clearance is vital to maintaining tissue homeostasis in all multicellular organisms. Even in tissues with high cellular turnover, apoptotic cells are rarely seen because of efficient clearance mechanisms in healthy individuals. In Caenorhabditis elegans, two parallel and partly redundant conserved pathways act in cell corpse engulfment. The pathway for cytoskeletal rearrangement requires the small GTPase CED-10 Rac1 acting for an efficient surround of the dead cell. The CED-10 Rac pathway is also required for the proper migration of the distal tip cells (DTCs) during the development of the C. elegans gonad. Parkin, the mammalian homolog of the C. elegans PDR-1, interacts with Rac1 in aged human brain and it is also implicated with actin dynamics and cytoskeletal rearrangements in Parkinsons's disease, suggesting that it might act on engulfment. Our genetic and biochemical studies indicate that PDR-1 inhibits apoptotic cell engulfment and DTC migration by ubiquitylating CED-10 for degradation. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
- C. elegans
- Proteasomal degradation