Introduction to Genetic Analysis 555

Introduction to Genetic Analysis 555 - 44200_17_p545-574...

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554 Chapter 17 Genetic Regulation of Cell Number: Normal and Cancer Cells MODEL ORGANISM Caenorhabditis elegans The Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans As a Model for Programmed Cell Death In the past 15 years, genetic studies by Robert Horvitz and his associates of the nematode (roundworm) Caenorhabditis elegans have advanced our understand- ing of programmed cell death. Researchers have mapped the entire series of somatic-cell divisions that produce the 1000 or so cells of the adult worm. For some of the embryonic and larval cell divisions, partic- ularly those that will contribute to the worm’s ner- vous system, a progenitor cell gives rise to two prog- eny cells, one of which then undergoes programmed cell death (see the illustration below). Divisions of this type are necessary for the progeny cell to ful±ll its proper developmental role. A set of mutations has been identi±ed in the worm that block programmed cell death; the progeny cell that would otherwise die. Some of these mutations
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This note was uploaded on 01/10/2011 for the course BIOL BIOL taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '08 term at Aberystwyth University.

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