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Genes Dev. 1991 Oct;5(10):1813-24.

Negative regulatory sequences in the lin-14 3'-untranslated region are necessary to generate a temporal switch during Caenorhabditis elegans development.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


The heterchronic gene lin-14 controls the temporal sequence of developmental events in the Caenorhabditis elegans postembryonic cell lineage. It encodes a nuclear protein that normally is present in most somatic cells of late embryos and L1 larvae but is absent at later stages. Two lin-14 gain-of-function mutations delete 3'-untranslated sequences causing an inappropriately high level of the lin-14 nuclear protein late in development. These mutations identify a negative regulatory element that controls the formation of the lin-14 protein temporal gradient. The 21-kb lin-14 gene is differentially spliced to generate three lin-14 transcripts that encode protein products with variable amino-terminal regions and a constant carboxy-terminal region. The sequence of the gene revealed no protein sequence similarity to any proteins in various data bases.

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