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Development. 2000 Dec;127(24):5265-76.

FOG-2, a novel F-box containing protein, associates with the GLD-1 RNA binding protein and directs male sex determination in the C. elegans hermaphrodite germline.

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1
Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8232, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Abstract

Male sex determination in the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite germline requires translational repression of tra-2 mRNA by the GLD-1 RNA binding protein. We cloned fog-2 by finding that its gene product physically interacts with GLD-1, forming a FOG-2/GLD-1/tra-2 3'untranslated region ternary complex. FOG-2 has an N-terminal F-box and a novel C-terminal domain called FTH. Canonical F-box proteins act as bridging components of the SCF ubiquitin ligase complex; the N-terminal F-box binds a Skp1 homolog, recruiting ubiquination machinery, while a C-terminal protein-protein interaction domain binds a specific substrate for degradation. However, since both fog-2 and gld-1 are necessary for spermatogenesis, FOG-2 cannot target GLD-1 for ubiquitin-mediated degradation. We propose that FOG-2 also acts as a bridge, bringing GLD-1 bound to tra-2 mRNA into a multiprotein translational repression complex, thus representing a novel function for an F-box protein. fog-2 is a member of a large, apparently rapidly evolving, C. elegans gene family that has expanded, in part, by local duplications; fog-2 related genes have not been found outside nematodes. fog-2 may have arisen during evolution of self-fertile hermaphroditism from an ancestral female/male species.

PMID:
11076749
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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