Dauer formation (WP580)

Caenorhabditis elegans

From wormbook: In response to harsh environmental conditions, C. elegans larvae undergo dauer arrest at the second molt. The past decade has yielded many insights into the signaling pathways and the molecular mechanisms that govern this developmental transition. Dauer pheromone, the major physiologic signal promoting dauer arrest, has been purified, identified, and synthesized. The molecular identities of the vast majority of dauer regulatory genes isolated in initial genetic screens are now known. Physiologic ligands for DAF-12, a nuclear receptor that is the final common target of dauer regulatory pathways, have been identified. The discovery of the Hid (high temperature induction of dauer) phenotype and the results of enhancer screens have greatly expanded the repertoire of dauer regulatory genes. Genomic analysis of dauer arrest has highlighted the role of pathway crosstalk in dauer regulation. Nonetheless, critical questions remain about the mechanistic underpinnings of dauer arrest.


Martijn Van Iersel , Alex Pico , Karen Yook , Egon Willighagen , Susan Coort , and Stefan Raats


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Caenorhabditis elegans



Pathway Ontology

signaling pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
Dafachronic acid Metabolite chebi:71556 Chemspider link: http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.19988767.html
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Cyclic GMP Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0001314
AGE-1/PI3K GeneProduct wormbase:B0334.8
DAF-12 GeneProduct wormbase:F11A1.3
DAF-21 GeneProduct wormbase:C47E8.5
DAF-11 GeneProduct wormbase:B0240.3
TAX-4 GeneProduct wormbase:ZC84.2
TAX-2 GeneProduct wormbase:F36F2.5
DAF-28/Insulin GeneProduct wormbase:Y116F11B.1
AKT-1 GeneProduct wormbase:C12D8.10
DAF-3 GeneProduct wormbase:F25E2.5
DAF-2/InsR GeneProduct wormbase:Y55D5A.5
FTT-2 GeneProduct wormbase:F52D10.3
DAF-14 GeneProduct wormbase:F01G10.8
DAF-7/TGF-Beta GeneProduct wormbase:B0412.2
DAF-4 GeneProduct wormbase:C05D2.1
DAF-16/FOXO GeneProduct wormbase:R13H8.1
PDK-1 GeneProduct wormbase:H42K12.1
DAF-5 GeneProduct wormbase:W01G7.1
AKT-2 GeneProduct wormbase:F28H6.1
DAF-18/PTEN GeneProduct wormbase:T07A9.6
DAF-8 GeneProduct wormbase:R05D11.1
DAF-16/FOXO GeneProduct wormbase:R13H8.1
DAF-1 GeneProduct wormbase:F29C4.1
DAF-9 GeneProduct wormbase:T13C5.1
RLE-1 GeneProduct wormbase:M142.6


  1. Identification of ligands for DAF-12 that govern dauer formation and reproduction in C. elegans. Motola DL, Cummins CL, Rottiers V, Sharma KK, Li T, Li Y, et al. Cell. 2006 Mar 24;124(6):1209–23. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Dauer. Hu PJ. WormBook. 2007 Aug 8;1–19. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  3. TGF-beta signaling. Savage-Dunn C. WormBook. 2005 Sep 9;1–12. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia