Asymmetric localization of PAR proteins is a hallmark of polarized cells, but the mechanisms that create PAR asymmetry are not well understood. In the C. elegans zygote, PAR asymmetry is initiated by a transient actomyosin contraction, which sweeps the PAR-3/PAR-6/PKC-3 complex toward the anterior pole of the egg. The RING finger protein PAR-2 accumulates in a complementary pattern in the posterior cortex. Here we present evidence that PAR-2 participates in a feedback loop to stabilize polarity. PAR-2 is a target of the PKC-3 kinase and is excluded from the anterior cortex by PKC-3-dependent phosphorylation. The RING domain of PAR-2 is required to overcome inhibition by PKC-3 and stabilize PAR-2 on the posterior cortex. Cortical PAR-2 in turn prevents PAR-3/PAR-6/PKC-3 from returning to the posterior, in a PAR-1- and PAR-5-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that reciprocal inhibitory interactions among PAR proteins stabilize polarity by reinforcing an initial asymmetry in PKC-3.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology