Enhancers of glp-1, a gene required for cell-signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans, define a set of genes required for germline development

L. Qiao, J. L. Lissemore, P. Shu, A. Smardon, M. B. Gelber, E. M. Maine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations


The distal tip cell (DTC) regulates the proliferation or differentiation choice in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline by an inductive mechanism. Cell signaling requires a putative receptor in the germline, encoded by the glp-1 gene, and a putative signal from the DTC, encoded by the lag-2 gene. Both glp-1 and lag-2 belong to multigene gene families whose members are essential for cell signaling during development of various tissues in insects and vertebrates as well as C. elegans. Relatively little is known about how these pathways regulate cell fate choice. To identify additional genes involved in the glp-1 signaling pathway, we carried out screens for genetic enhancers of glp-1. We recovered mutations in five new genes, named ego (enhancer of glp- 1), and two previously identified genes, lag-1 and glp-4, that strongly enhance a weak glp-1 loss-of-function phenotype in the germline. Ego mutations cause multiple phenotypes consistent with the idea that gene activity is required for more than one aspect of germline and, in some cases, somatic development. Based on genetic experiments, glp-1 appears to act upstream of ego-1 and ego-3. We discuss the possible functional relationships among these genes in light of their phenotypes and interactions with glp-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-569
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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