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The NK-2 class homeodomain factor CEH-51 and the T-box factor TBX-35 have overlapping function in C. elegans mesoderm development

Broitman-Maduro, Gina and Owraghi, Melissa and Hung, Wendy W. K. and Kuntz, Steven G. and Sternberg, Paul W. and Maduro, Morris F. (2009) The NK-2 class homeodomain factor CEH-51 and the T-box factor TBX-35 have overlapping function in C. elegans mesoderm development. Development, 136 (16). pp. 2735-2746. ISSN 0950-1991. PMCID PMC2730403.

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The C. elegans MS blastomere, born at the 7-cell stage of embryogenesis, generates primarily mesodermal cell types, including pharynx cells, body muscles and coelomocytes. A presumptive null mutation in the T-box factor gene tbx-35, a target of the MED-1 and MED-2 divergent GATA factors, was previously found to result in a profound decrease in the production of MS-derived tissues, although the tbx-35(-) embryonic arrest phenotype was variable. We report here that the NK-2 class homeobox gene ceh-51 is a direct target of TBX-35 and at least one other factor, and that CEH-51 and TBX-35 share functions. Embryos homozygous for a ceh-51 null mutation arrest as larvae with pharynx and muscle defects, although these tissues appear to be specified correctly. Loss of tbx-35 and ceh-51 together results in a synergistic phenotype resembling loss of med-1 and med-2. Overexpression of ceh-51 causes embryonic arrest and generation of ectopic body muscle and coelomocytes. Our data show that TBX-35 and CEH-51 have overlapping function in MS lineage development. As T-box regulators and NK-2 homeodomain factors are both important for heart development in Drosophila and vertebrates, our results suggest that these regulators function in a similar manner in C. elegans to specify a major precursor of mesoderm.

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Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Additional Information:© The Company of Biologists Ltd 2009. Accepted 12 June 2009. First published online 15 July 2009. We are grateful to Shohei Mitani for tm2123; L. Ryan Baugh and Craig Hunter for sharing embryo transcriptome data prior to publication; Ian Hope, Michael Krause, Craig Hunter, Johnny Fares, Jeb Gaudet, Peter Okkema, Jenny Hsieh and Andy Fire for sending GFP reporter strains; Yuji Kohara for ceh-51 ESTs; Christian Frøkjær-Jensen, Erik Jorgensen, Attila Stetak, Andy Fire and David Miller for plasmids; Serena Cervantes for preliminary characterization of the tbx-35 elongation defects; and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. Some nematode strains used in this work were provided by the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, which is funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). This work was funded by grants from the NSF (IBN#0416922 and IOS#0643325) and NIH (1R03HD054589-01) to M.F.M. P.W.S. is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which supported this work. Deposited in PMC for release after 6 months.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mesoderm, C. elegans, tbx-35, ceh-51, Tissue specification
Issue or Number:16
PubMed Central ID:PMC2730403
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090808-142503838
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14899
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:03 Sep 2009 18:20
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:53

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