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Genes Dev. 2004 Sep 1;18(17):2120-33. Epub 2004 Aug 16.

A novel nuclear receptor/coregulator complex controls C. elegans lipid metabolism, larval development, and aging.

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MPI fuer molekulare Genetik, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


Environmental cues transduced by an endocrine network converge on Caenorhabditis elegans nuclear receptor DAF-12 to mediate arrest at dauer diapause or continuous larval development. In adults, DAF-12 selects long-lived or short-lived modes. How these organismal choices are molecularly specified is unknown. Here we show that coregulator DIN-1 and DAF-12 physically and genetically interact to instruct organismal fates. Homologous to human corepressor SHARP, DIN-1 comes in long (L) and short (S) isoforms, which are nuclear localized but have distinct functions. DIN-1L has embryonic and larval developmental roles. DIN-1S, along with DAF-12, regulates lipid metabolism, larval stage-specific programs, diapause, and longevity. Epistasis experiments reveal that din-1S acts in the dauer pathways downstream of lipophilic hormone, insulin/IGF, and TGFbeta signaling, the same point as daf-12. We propose that the DIN-1S/DAF-12 complex serves as a molecular switch that implements slow life history alternatives in response to diminished hormonal signals.

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