7.3. Apoptois in C. elegans
C. elegans is used as model organism to study the process of apoptosis. 131 cells of C. elegans undergo apoptosis out of 1090 cell in the embryonic stage.
The steps of apoptosis can be summarized as follows :-
- Activation of the cysteine protease ced-3 by oligomerization with ced-4.
- Apoptosis inhibitor ced-9 and the apoptosis inducer egl-1 regulate the activity of ced-3/ced-4 complex
- Ced-4 counterpart in the mammalian apoptosis is apoptotic protease activating factor 1, Apaf-1.
- Ced-3 is the single member of cysteine proteases family in C. elegans.
- Egl-1 and ced-9 are members of the Bcl-2 family of pro- or antiapoptotic proteins, respectively.