Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Phillips, Bryan T

First Committee Member

Slusarski, Diane

Second Committee Member

Smolikove, Sarit

Third Committee Member

Houston, Douglas

Fourth Committee Member

Frank, Andy


Wnt/β-catenin signaling and asymmetric cell division are essential to development and homeostasis in metazoans; these two mechanisms join into one in the Wnt/β-catenin Asymmetry (WβA) pathway in the nematode C. elegans. In WβA, nuclear asymmetry of two β-catenins, SYS-1 and WRM-1, is achieved by two parallel pathways that reduce SYS-1 and WRM-1 levels in the anterior daughter and increase their levels in the posterior daughter. While it is known that many conserved regulators of Wnt signaling are involved in WβA, how these components interact to achieve SYS-1 and WRM-1 asymmetry is not well understood. In this thesis, genetics, transgenics, and live-imaging are used to demonstrate how WβA regulates it’s multiple outputs. It is shown that APR-1/APC and PRY-1/Axin control asymmetric localization of both SYS-1 and WRM-1, and that Wnt signaling explicitly controls APR-1 regulation of either β-catenin via the kinase KIN-19/CKIα. Additionally, it is demonstrated that the Dishevelled proteins DSH-2 and MIG-5 are positive regulators of SYS-1, but negative regulators of WRM-1. Additionally, data from a screen designed to identify novel kinase regulators of Wnt signaling/asymmetric cell division is presented. Overall, this thesis takes current knowledge of conserved Wnt signaling component function and provides a compelling model of how those components are adapted to asymmetric cell division.


APC, asymmetric cell division, Axin, beta-catenin, Dishevelled, Wnt


x, 101 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 87-101).


Copyright 2015 Austin Thomas Baldwin

Additional Files

Chapter 4 Data Supplement.xlsx (85 kB)
Chapter 4 Data Supplement

Included in

Biology Commons