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Dev Biol. 2012 Apr 15;364(2):202-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.02.006. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

PAN-1, a P-granule component important for C. elegans fertility, has dual roles in the germline and soma.

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Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA.


In Caenorhabditis elegans, P granules are germline-specific, RNA-containing granules that segregate into the germline precursor cell during early embryogenesis. In this short report, PAN-1, which previously has been found by others in screens for genes causing larval molting defects, is identified here as a novel P-granule component and a binding partner of GLH-1 (Germline RNA Helicase-1), a constitutive, germline-specific, P-granule protein. The PAN-1 predicted protein contains multiple leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and regions with similarities to F-box proteins. Antibodies raised against PAN-1 reveal it is present both in the soma and the germline. In the germline, PAN-1 uniquely localizes to P granules from the first larval stage onward and is unusual for a P-granule component in lacking recognizable RNA binding motifs. Homozygous pan-1(gk142) deletion worms arrest as larvae that are unable to molt and this phenotype is also seen with pan-1(RNAi) into wild type worms. pan-1(RNAi) into the somatic RNAi-defective strain rrf-1(pk1417) bypasses the larval arrest and allows an assessment of PAN-1 function in the germline. We find pan-1(RNAi) is variably effective in knocking down PAN-1 protein and results in adult progeny that display multiple germline defects. These phenocopies range from under-proliferation of the germline, as also seen with loss of GLH-1, to the induction of endomitotic replication in oocytes, both defects that result in sterility, to fertile animals with significantly reduced progeny numbers. Thus, while loss of PAN-1 in the soma inhibits molting, this report demonstrates that PAN-1 is also a P-granule component that is essential for fertility.

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