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Dev Cell. 2002 Nov;3(5):697-710.

GLD-3, a bicaudal-C homolog that inhibits FBF to control germline sex determination in C. elegans.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 433 Babcock Drive, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The FBF RNA binding proteins control multiple aspects of C. elegans germline development, including sex determination. FBF promotes the oocyte fate at the expense of spermatogenesis by binding a regulatory element in the fem-3 3'UTR and repressing this sex-determining gene. Here we report the discovery of GLD-3, a Bicaudal-C homolog and cytoplasmic protein that physically interacts with FBF. Using RNAi and a gld-3 deletion mutant, we show that GLD-3 promotes the sperm fate, a sex determination effect opposite to that of FBF. By epistasis analysis, GLD-3 acts upstream of FBF, and, in a yeast three-hybrid assay, GLD-3 interferes specifically with FBF binding to the fem-3 3'UTR. We propose that GLD-3 binds FBF and thereby inhibits its repression of target mRNAs.

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