Publication — IRIC
PAR-4/LKB1 regulates DNA replication during asynchronous division of the early C. elegans embryo.
Regulation of cell cycle duration is critical during development, yet the underlying molecular mechanisms are still poorly understood. The two-cell stage Caenorhabditis elegans embryo divides asynchronously and thus provides a powerful context in which to study regulation of cell cycle timing during development. Using genetic analysis and high-resolution imaging, we found that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) replication is asymmetrically regulated in the two-cell stage embryo and that the PAR-4 and PAR-1 polarity proteins dampen DNA replication dynamics specifically in the posterior blastomere, independently of regulators previously implicated in the control of cell cycle timing. Our results demonstrate that accurate control of DNA replication is crucial during C. elegans early embryonic development and further provide a novel mechanism by which PAR proteins control cell cycle progression during asynchronous cell division.