CREB mediates the C. elegans dauer polyphenism through direct and cellautonomous regulation of TGF-β expression

Ji Soo Park, Hyekyoung Oh, Do Young Kim, Yong Jin Cheon, Yeon Ji Park, Hyeonjeong Hwang, Scott J. Neal, Abdul Rouf Dar, Rebecca A. Butcher, Piali Sengupta, Daewon Kim, Kyuhyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Animals can adapt to dynamic environmental conditions by modulating their developmental programs. Understanding the genetic architecture and molecular mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity in response to changing environments is an important and emerging area of research. Here, we show a novel role of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-encoding crh-1 gene in developmental polyphenism of C. elegans. Under conditions that promote normal development in wild-type animals, crh-1 mutants inappropriately form transient pre-dauer (L2d) larva and express the L2d marker gene. L2d formation in crh- 1 mutants is specifically induced by the ascaroside pheromone ascr#5 (asc-ωC3; C3), and crh-1 functions autonomously in the ascr#5-sensing ASI neurons to inhibit L2d formation. Moreover, we find that CRH-1 directly binds upstream of the daf-7 TGF-β locus and promotes its expression in the ASI neurons. Taken together, these results provide new insight into how animals alter their developmental programs in response to environmental changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1009678
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 14

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 021 Park et al. 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 the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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