Poly(U) polymerases (PUPs) catalyze 3′ uridylation of mRNAs and small RNAs, a modification often correlating with decreased RNA stability. We have investigated the importance of three proteins with in vitro PUP activity, PUP-1/CDE-1, PUP-2 and PUP-3, in C. elegans germline development. Genetic analysis indicates that PUP-1/CDE-1 and PUP-2 are developmentally redundant under conditions of temperature stress during which they ensure germline viability and development. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that pup-1/-2 double mutant germ cells fail to maintain their identity as distinct from soma. Consistent with phenotypic data, PUP-1 and PUP-2 are expressed in embryonic germ cell precursors and throughout germline development. The developmental importance of PUP activity is presumably in regulating gene expression as both a direct and indirect consequence of modifying target RNAs. PUP-3 is significantly overexpressed in the pup-1/-2 germline, and loss of pup-3 function partially suppresses pup-1/-2 germline defects. We conclude that one major function of PUP-1/-2 is to limit PUP-3 expression. Overall, the balance of PUP-1, PUP-2 and PUP-3 activities appears to ensure proper germline development.
- C. elegans germline development
- Poly(U) polymerase
- RNA stability
- Transgenerational inheritance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology