Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Development. 2007 Feb;134(4):757-67. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

MRG-1, an autosome-associated protein, silences X-linked genes and protects germline immortality in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodaicho, Nadaku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan.


MRG15, a mammalian protein related to the mortality factor MORF4, is required for cell proliferation and embryo survival. Our genetic analysis has revealed that the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog MRG-1 serves similar roles. Maternal MRG-1 promotes embryo survival and is required for proliferation and immortality of the primordial germ cells (PGCs). As expected of a chromodomain protein, MRG-1 associates with chromatin. Unexpectedly, it is concentrated on the autosomes and not detectable on the X chromosomes. This association is not dependent on the autosome-enriched protein MES-4. Focusing on possible roles of MRG-1 in regulating gene expression, we determined that MRG-1 is required to maintain repression in the maternal germ line of transgenes on extrachromosomal arrays, and of several X-linked genes previously shown to depend on MES-4 for repression. MRG-1 is not required for PGCs to acquire transcriptional competence or for the turn-on of expression of several PGC-expressed genes (pgl-1, glh-1, glh-4 and nos-1). By contrast to this result in PGCs, MRG-1 is required for ectopic expression of those germline genes in somatic cells lacking the NuRD complex component MEP-1. We discuss how an autosome-enriched protein might repress genes on the X chromosome, promote PGC proliferation and survival, and influence the germ versus soma distinction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (8)Free text

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk