In the Caenorhabditis elegans germline, proliferation is induced by Notch-type signaling. Entry of germ cells into meiosis is triggered by activity of the GLD-1 and GLD-2 pathways, which function redundantly to promote meiosis and/or inhibit proliferation. Activation of the germline Notch-type receptor, GLP-1, ultimately inhibits the activities of the GLD-1 and GLD-2 pathways. We previously identified several ego (enhancer of glp-1) genes that promote germline proliferation and interact genetically with the GLP-1 signaling pathway. Here, we show that atx-2 is an ego gene. Our data suggest that ATX-2 is not a positive regulator of the GLP-1 signaling pathway and GLP-1 signaling is not the sole positive regulator of ATX-2 activity. Moreover, our data indicate that GLP-1 must have an additional function, which may be to repress activity of a third meiotic entry pathway that would work in parallel with the GLD-1 and GLD-2 pathways. In addition to its role in proliferation, ATX-2 acts downstream of FOG-2 to promote the female germline fate.
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