RRC ID 4298
Author Smit RB, Schnabel R, Gaudet J.
Title The HLH-6 transcription factor regulates C. elegans pharyngeal gland development and function.
Journal PLoS Genet
Abstract The Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx (or foregut) functions as a pump that draws in food (bacteria) from the environment. While the "organ identity factor" PHA-4 is critical for formation of the C. elegans pharynx as a whole, little is known about the specification of distinct cell types within the pharynx. Here, we use a combination of bioinformatics, molecular biology, and genetics to identify a helix-loop-helix transcription factor (HLH-6) as a critical regulator of pharyngeal gland development. HLH-6 is required for expression of a number of gland-specific genes, acting through a discrete cis-regulatory element named PGM1 (Pharyngeal Gland Motif 1). hlh-6 mutants exhibit a frequent loss of a subset of glands, while the remaining glands have impaired activity, indicating a role for hlh-6 in both gland development and function. Interestingly, hlh-6 mutants are also feeding defective, ascribing a biological function for the glands. Pharyngeal pumping in hlh-6 mutants is normal, but hlh-6 mutants lack expression of a class of mucin-related proteins that are normally secreted by pharyngeal glands and line the pharyngeal cuticle. An interesting possibility is that one function of pharyngeal glands is to secrete a pharyngeal lining that ensures efficient transport of food along the pharyngeal lumen.
Volume 4(10)
Pages e1000222
Published 2008-10-1
DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000222
PMID 18927627
PMC PMC2563036
MeSH Animals Animals, Genetically Modified Base Sequence Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / physiology* Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development* Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology* Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology* DNA, Helminth / genetics Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental Gene Regulatory Networks Genes, Helminth Helminth Proteins / metabolism Mucins / metabolism Mutation Pharynx / growth & development* Pharynx / physiology* Phenotype Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
IF 5.175
Times Cited 22
C.elegans tm299