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Nature. 1990 Apr 26;344(6269):876-9.

Novel cysteine-rich motif and homeodomain in the product of the Caenorhabditis elegans cell lineage gene lin-11.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


The gene lin-11 is required for the asymmetric division of a vulval precursor cell type in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Putative lin-11 complementary DNAs were sequenced and found to encode a protein that contains both a homeodomain and two tandem copies of a novel cysteine-rich motif: C-X2-C-X17-19-H-X2-C-X2-C-X2-C-X7-11-(C)-X8-C. Two tandem copies of this motif are also present amino-terminal to the homeodomains in the proteins encoded by the genes mec-3, which is required for C. elegans touch neuron differentiation, and isl-1, which encodes a rat insulin I gene enhancer-binding protein. The arrangement of cysteine residues in this motif, referred to as LIM (for lin-11 isl-1 mec-3), suggests that this region is a metal-binding domain. The presence in these three proteins of both a potential metal-binding domain and a homeodomain distinguishes them from previously characterized proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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