Heterochronic gene regulation of development (WP2227)

Caenorhabditis elegans

The heterochronic pathway, regulating larval development in Caenorhabditis elegans, is shown. Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model for studying heterochronic genes,due to its invariant cell lineages. Heterochronic is associated with the development of cells or tissues at a "different" time relative to other developmental events. Changes in developmental timing are thought to be a driving force of morphological evolution. Regulatory relationships shown here are supported by genetic data, but not all are direct. Lin-42 is not shown, as its complex expression pattern and genetic interactions suggest that it acts at multiple steps through out the pathways, making its precise placement difficult. In the absence of ligand DAF-12 represses let-7 family miRNAs. Arrows indicate activation - Bars indicate repression.


Karen Yook , Asios Olia , Friederike Ehrhart , Kristina Hanspers , Denise Slenter , and Alex Pico


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Caenorhabditis elegans



Pathway Ontology

signaling pathway pertinent to development signaling pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
LIN-66 GeneProduct wormbase:B0513.1
LIN-14 GeneProduct wormbase:T25C12.1
LIN-28 GeneProduct wormbase:F02E9.2
DAF-12 GeneProduct wormbase:F11A1.3
LIN-46 GeneProduct wormbase:R186.4
HBL-1 GeneProduct wormbase:F13D11.2
LIN-41 GeneProduct wormbase:C12C8.3
HBL-1 GeneProduct wormbase:F13D11.2
LIN-29 GeneProduct wormbase:W03C9.4


  1. Heterochronic genes. Abbott AL. Curr Biol. 2003 Oct 28;13(21):R824-5. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Heterochronic genes and the nature of developmental time. Moss EG. Curr Biol. 2007 Jun 5;17(11):R425-34. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  3. miRNAs give worms the time of their lives: small RNAs and temporal control in Caenorhabditis elegans. Resnick TD, McCulloch KA, Rougvie AE. Dev Dyn. 2010 May;239(5):1477–89. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia