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WormBook. 2005 Aug 15:1-14.

Germline proliferation and its control.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The C. elegans germ line proliferates from one primordial germ cell (PGC) set aside in the early embryo to over a thousand cells in the adult. Most germline proliferation is controlled by the somatic distal tip cell, which provides a stem cell niche at the distal end of the adult gonad. The distal tip cell signals to the germ line via the Notch signaling pathway, which in turn controls a network of RNA regulators. The FBF-1 and FBF-2 RNA-binding proteins promote continued mitoses in germ cells located close to the distal tip cell, while the GLD-1, GLD-2, GLD-3, and NOS-3 RNA regulators promote entry into meiosis as germ cells leave the stem cell niche. In addition to these key regulators, many other genes affect germline proliferation.

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