Caenorhabditis briggsae has emerged as a model for comparative biology against model organism C. elegans. Most of its cell fate specifications are completed during embryogenesis whereas its cell growth is achieved mainly in larval stages. The molecular mechanism underlying the drastic developmental changes is poorly understood. To gain insights into the molecular changes between the two stages, we compared the proteomes between the two stages using iTRAQ. We identified a total of 2,791 proteins in the C. briggsae embryos and larvae, 247 of which undergo up-or down-regulation between the two stages. The proteins that are upregulated in the larval stages are enriched in the Gene Ontology categories of energy production, protein translation, and cytoskeleton; whereas those upregulated in the embryonic stage are enriched in the categories of chromatin dynamics and posttranslational modification, suggesting a more active chromatin modification in the embryos than in the larva. Perturbation of a subset of chromatin modifiers followed by cell lineage analysis suggests their roles in controlling cell division pace. Taken together, we demonstrate a general molecular switch from chromatin modification to metabolism during the transition from C. briggsae embryonic to its larval stages using iTRAQ approach. The switch might be conserved across metazoans.
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