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Genetics. 1998 Sep;150(1):119-28.

Genetic and molecular characterization of the caenorhabditis elegans gene, mel-26, a postmeiotic negative regulator of mei-1, a meiotic-specific spindle component.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.


We have previously described the gene mei-1, which encodes an essential component of the Caenorhabditis elegans meiotic spindle. When ectopically expressed after the completion of meiosis, mei-1 protein disrupts the function of the mitotic cleavage spindles. In this article, we describe the cloning and the further genetic characterization of mel-26, a postmeiotic negative regulator of mei-1. mel-26 was originally identified by a gain-of-function mutation. We have reverted this mutation to a loss-of-function allele, which has recessive phenotypes identical to the dominant defects of its gain-of-function parent. Both the dominant and recessive mutations of mel-26 result in mei-1 protein ectopically localized in mitotic spindles and centrosomes, leading to small and misoriented cleavage spindles. The loss-of-function mutation was used to clone mel-26 by transformation rescue. As suggested by genetic results indicating that mel-26 is required only maternally, mel-26 mRNA was expressed predominantly in the female germline. The gene encodes a protein that includes the BTB motif, which is thought to play a role in protein-protein interactions.

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