Cell engulfment (WP2226)

Caenorhabditis elegans

A model of apoptotic cell engulfment. Caenorhabditis (from Caeno and rhabditis = rod like stick shaped) elegans is a free living (non parasitic) transparent roundworm (nematode). C. elegans was the first organism to have its whole genome sequenced and it neuronal wiring described. The C. elegans engulfment pathway removes the dying ("corpse") cells by using receptor signals then identifying the dying cells and eventually engulfing them. The final process involves the recycling of the remaining cell particles of the dead engulfed cells.


Karen Yook , Christine Chichester , Kristina Hanspers , Christian Grove , Egon Willighagen , Martina Summer-Kutmon , Asios Olia , and Friederike Ehrhart


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Caenorhabditis elegans




Pathway Ontology

phagocytosis pathway apoptotic cell death pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
CED-4 GeneProduct wormbase:C35D10.9
CED-9 GeneProduct wormbase:T07C4.8
CED-10/Rac1 GeneProduct wormbase:C09G12.8
CED-5/DOCK180 GeneProduct wormbase:C02F4.1
EGL-1 GeneProduct wormbase:F23B12.9
CED-9 GeneProduct wormbase:T07C4.8
CED-6 GeneProduct wormbase:F56D2.7
CED-1/SREC? GeneProduct wormbase:Y47H9C.4
CED-2/CrkII GeneProduct wormbase:Y41D4B.13
Active CED-3Protease GeneProduct wormbase:C48D1.2
CED-3 GeneProduct wormbase:C48D1.2
CED-7 GeneProduct wormbase:C48B4.4
CED-7/ABC1 GeneProduct wormbase:C48B4.4
PSR-1? GeneProduct wormbase:F29B9.4
CED-4 GeneProduct wormbase:C35D10.9
EGL-1 GeneProduct wormbase:F23B12.9
CED-4 GeneProduct wormbase:C35D10.9


  1. How the worm removes corpses: the nematode C. elegans as a model system to study engulfment. Gumienny TL, Hengartner MO. Cell Death Differ. 2001 Jun;8(6):564–8. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Programmed cell death. Conradt B, Xue D. WormBook. 2005 Oct 6;1–13. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia