Glycosaminoglycans and Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-Anchor Proteins in Development of Caenorhabditis elegans

  • Kazuya NomuraEmail author
  • Sayaka Akiyoshi
  • Ayako Matsuda
  • Kazuko H. Nomura
Reference work entry


Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins play various roles in the development of multicellular organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent model organism to study the role of glycoconjugates in development and morphogenesis because genetically identical organisms are easy to collect in large numbers, and the knowledge of its genomic sequence enables quick and effective gene knockout or knockdown analysis. RNA interference (RNAi), deletion mutagenesis, and the recently developed genome-editing techniques can be easily applied to this model organism. Genetic and biochemical analysis are relatively simple, and owing to C. elegans’ transparent body, cell lineage analysis can be carried out easily. The presence of GPI-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) and GAGs has previously been established in this model organism, and the major genes responsible for their synthesis have been identified. Functional inhibition of these genes revealed that GPI-APs and GAGs play essential roles in germline formation, early embryonic cell division, early morphogenesis, and in the development of the nervous system.


C. elegans Germline stem cells GPI anchor PIGA Glycosaminoglycan HSN neuron Sulfation Notch MicroRNA sqv genes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuya Nomura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sayaka Akiyoshi
    • 1
  • Ayako Matsuda
    • 1
  • Kazuko H. Nomura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesGraduate School of Systems Life Sciences, Kyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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