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Genes Cells. 2001 Oct;6(10):899-911.

A deubiquitinating enzyme, UCH/CeUBP130, has an essential role in the formation of a functional microtubule-organizing centre (MTOC) during early cleavage in C. elegans.

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Department of Life Science, Kwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Kwangju 500-712, Korea.



Deubiquitinating enzymes generate monomeric ubiquitin in protein degradation pathways and are known to be important for the early development in many organisms.


RNA interference experiments targeted for a UBP homologue, UCH/CeUBP130, in C. elegans resulted in cell division defective embryos. Immunostaining localized UCH/CeUBP130 in the sperm and at the microtubule-organizing centre (MTOC) during early cleavage. Furthermore, the embryonic lethal phenotype was rescued by mating with wild-type males.


Since it is known that the MTOC in the fertilized embryo is contributed by sperm asters in C. elegans, we suggest that UCH/CeUBP130 and ubiquitin protein degradation pathways may be involved in microtubule-based sperm aster formation. Therefore UCH/CeUBP130 is necessary for the formation of a functional MTOC in the fertilized embryo of C. elegans.

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