Worm Breeder's Gazette 13(4): 83 (October 1, 1994)
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.
Dept. of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York
The mec-2 gene was initially isolated in genetic screens for genes required for touch cell function. The wild-type activity of mec-2 is also needed for mec-10 -causedtouch cell degeneration, suggesting that it may regulate the putative mechanosensory channel complex formed by the gene products of mec-10 , mec-4 ,and mec-6 (1). We cloned the mec-2 gene by transposon-tagging and germline rescue of the mutant phenotype. The rescuing activity was first identified in cosmid W05G12 and further minimized to a 17 kb genomic fragment. Several cDNAs were found from mixed-stage libraries constructed by Chris Martin and by Pete Okkema. The longest cDNA (1.8 kb) seems to contain a full-length open reading frame of 440 amino acids that are overall very hydrophilic and highly charged except for a 28 amino acids hydrophobic domain near the N-terminus. The mec-2 gene appears to be alternatively spliced and some of the pre-mRNAs are not efficiently processed (RT-PCR produced some cDNAs that contained introns). The mec-2 cDNAs hybridize to several bands on Northern blots of N2 polyA+ RNAs at high stringency (a broad band at 1.8 kb and a weak band between 3 and 4 kb). The larger mRNA is more intense in Northerns of mec-8 ( e398 ).Thus, a mec-2 transcript may be a substrate of the putative RNA-binding factor mec-8 (E. Lundquist and R. Herman, per. comm.).