In Caenorhabditis elegans, the RNA-binding domains of the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein FOG-1 are needed to regulate germ cell fates

Suk Won Jin, Nancy Arno, Adam Cohen, Amy Shah, Qijin Xu, Nadine Chen, Ronald E. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

FOG-1 controls germ cell fates in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Sequence analyses revealed that FOG-1 is a cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding (CPEB) protein; similar proteins from other species have been shown to bind messenger RNAs and regulate their translation. Our analyses of fog-1 mutations indicate that each of the three RNA-binding domains of FOG-1 is essential for activity. In addition, biochemical tests show that FOG-1 is capable of binding RNA sequences in the 3′-untranslated region of its own message. Finally, genetic assays reveal that fog-1 functions zygotically, that the small fog-1 transcript has no detectable function, and that missense mutations in fog-1 cause a dominant negative phenotype. This last observation suggests that FOG-1 acts in a complex, or as a multimer, to regulate translation. On the basis of these data, we propose that FOG-1 binds RNA to regulate germ cell fates and that it does so by controlling the translation of its targets. One of these targets might be the fog-1 transcript itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1617-1630
Number of pages14
JournalGenetics
Volume159
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics

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