Worm Breeder's Gazette 10(3): 41
These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.
The ben-1 gene encodes one of the four (or so) C. elegans - tubulins. All mutations that confer resistance to the antimicrotubule drug benomyl map to this locus. The ben-1-encoded -tubulin is not essential for C. elegans coordination or viability since animals harboring deletions of the ben-1 gene appear wild-type in growth and behavior. We have sequenced all but the very 3' end of the ben-1 gene. 408 of approximately 450 amino acids are represented. (The sequence data is available upon request). In Genbank, the deduced protein sequence is most homologous to a human -tubulin (showing 93% identity, with all amino acid changes conservative). Comparison to other C. elegans - tubulins indicates that ben-1 is 96% identical to the tub-1 gene sequenced by L. Gremke and J. Culotti. ben-1 shares 87% identity with the mec-7-encoded -tubulin. The C. elegans -tubulin gene organization can be summarized as follows: [See Figure 1] ben-1 and tub-1 are similar in organization of coding regions, whereas mec-7 differs markedly in the relative positioning of exons and introns. The ben-1 gene contains two relatively long introns, of 973 and 809 bp. The putative splice sites in ben-1 conform to consensus C. elegans splice sequences. Interestingly, there is a potential splice acceptor site upstream of the AUG initiator codon. We are concerned that the sequenced 350bp 5' to the translational start may not include the promoter for this gene. Possibly, the message may acquire a trans- spliced leader. The DNA sequence of the 5' region in a ben-1 cDNA should clarify the transcript structure.