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Development. 2007 Nov;134(21):3905-15.

The C. elegans CBFbeta homologue BRO-1 interacts with the Runx factor, RNT-1, to promote stem cell proliferation and self-renewal.

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Genome Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima 411-8560, Japan.


In this report, we investigate the C. elegans CBFbeta homologue, BRO-1. bro-1 mutants have a similar male-specific sensory ray loss phenotype to rnt-1 (the C. elegans homologue of the mammalian CBFbeta-interacting Runx factors), caused by failed cell divisions in the seam lineages. Our studies indicate that BRO-1 and RNT-1 form a cell proliferation-promoting complex, and that BRO-1 increases both the affinity and specificity of RNT-1-DNA interactions. Overexpression of bro-1, like rnt-1, leads to an expansion of seam cell number and co-overexpression of bro-1 and rnt-1 results in massive seam cell hyperplasia. Finally, we find that BRO-1 appears to act independently of RNT-1 in certain situations. These studies provide new insights into the function and regulation of this important cancer-associated DNA-binding complex in stem cells and support the view that Runx/CBFbeta factors have oncogenic potential.

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