Worm Breeder's Gazette 15(2): 26 (February 1, 1998)
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.
CIML, case 906, 13288 Marseille cedex 9, France.
Hox genes specify cell fates in successive antero-posterior body domains in vertebrates, insects and nematodes (1,2). Polycomb and trithorax group genes are responsible for the initiation and maintenance of Hox gene expression, as shown by their mutant phenotypes in drosophila and mouse. Nematode homologues of these genes have been discovered and their function is being studied in several labs. We are interested in the function of a domain which is shared between trithorax and polycomb members: the SET domain. This domain which is shared between antagonistic proteins is very conserved and may play an important role in the assembly of either transcriptional activating or repressing protein complexes during development (3). In C. elegans, the 130 amino acid SET motif is present in MES-2, a protein similar to E(z) (4). It is also present in T26A5.7 ('point sept' in French), which is predicted to be a 288 residue protein. We have determined the expression pattern of T26A5.7 in worms carrying a GFP reporter transgene. Early in development, T26A5.7 is expressed in the majority of cells, its expression being more and more restricted as development progress. The later expression pattern of T26A5.7 is reminiscent of the expression pattern of the ensemble of Hom-C genes (5). This change in the pattern with the GFP-fusion construct is consistent with the variation of transcript levels during development. To study further the function of this gene, we are looking at the expression of the transgene in several other genetic backgrounds. Also, in collaboration with D. Baillie and N. O'Neil, we are currently screening lethals that map to T26A5 in the hope of obtaining a strain in which T26A5.7 is inactivated. Special thanks to J.-C. Labbe, A. Fire and T. Burglin. 1/ Kenyon C. (1994). Cell 78, 175-180 2/ Emmons S. W. (1996). Nature 382, 301-302 3/ Laible et al. (1997). EMBO J. 16, 3219-3232 4/ Holdeman R., Nehrt S., Strome S. (1996) Midwest Worm Meeting 5/ Wang et al., (1993). Cell 74, 29-42