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Mol Genet Genomics. 2010 Jan;283(1):73-87. doi: 10.1007/s00438-009-0497-8. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Coordinate regulation of gene expression in the C. elegans excretory cell by the POU domain protein CEH-6.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Ohio State University, 938 Biological Sciences Building, 484 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Excretory renal organs are critical in animals for osmoregulation and the elimination of waste. Renal organs across a range of species exhibit cellular and molecular similarities. For example, class III POU-homeodomain transcription factors are expressed in the renal organs of many invertebrates and vertebrates. However, the functional role for these factors is not well characterized. To better understand the role of class III POU-homeodomain proteins in animal excretory systems, we have characterized a set of genes expressed in the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory cell, and determined their regulation by the POU-III transcription factor CEH-6. Our molecular and biochemical studies show that CEH-6 regulates a subset of genes expressed in the excretory cell. Additionally, we find that the CEH-6-dependent genes share two molecular features: they contain at least one octamer regulatory element and they encode for transport and channel proteins. This work suggests that a role for POU-III factors in renal organs is to coordinate the expression of a set of functionally related genes.

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