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Genesis. 2006 Sep;44(9):412-8.

Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5B activity regulates larval growth rate and germline development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.


In C. elegans, a population of proliferating germ cells is maintained via GLP-1/Notch signaling; in the absence of GLP-1 signaling, germ cells prematurely enter meiosis and differentiate. We previously identified ego (enhancer of glp-1) genes that promote germline proliferation and interact genetically with the GLP-1 signaling pathway. Here, we report that iffb-1 (initiation factor five B) is an ego gene. iffb-1 encodes the sole C. elegans isoform of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5B, a protein essential for translation. We have used RNA interference and a deletion mutation to determine the developmental consequences of reduced iffb-1 activity. Our data indicate that maternal iffb-1 gene expression is sufficient for embryogenesis, and zygotic iffb-1 expression is required for development beyond late L1/early L2 stage. Partial reduction in iffb-1 expression delays larval development and can severely disrupt proliferation and differentiation of germ cells. We hypothesize that germline development is particularly sensitive to iffb-1 expression level.

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