The Caenorhabditis elegans LIN-26 protein is required to specify and/or maintain the fates of all non-neuronal ectodermal cells. Here we show that lin-26 is expressed until the somatic gonad primordium stage in all cells of the somatic gonad, except in distal tip cells, and later in all uterine cells. To determine if lin-26 functions in the somatic gonad, we have generated gonad-specific lin-26 alleles obtained by integration of lin-26 promoter deletion derivatives into a lin-26 null mutant background. In this way, we rescued the lethal phenotype imparted by lin-26 null mutations and uncovered a highly penetrant sterile phenotype. Specifically, the strongest of these new alleles was characterized by the absence of lin-26 expression in the somatic gonad, the presence of endomitotic oocytes, decreased germline proliferation, a protruding vulva and a less penetrant absence of gonad arms. Lineage analysis of mutant somatic gonads and examination of several markers expressed in the spermatheca, sheath cells, distal tip cells and the uterus, suggest that LIN-26 is required in sheath, spermatheca and uterine precursors, and in uterine cells. We conclude that lin-26 performs a similar function in the non-neuronal ectoderm and the somatic gonad, a mesoderm derivative, and we speculate that lin-26 is required to express epithelial characteristics.
A tissue-specific knock-out strategy reveals that lin-26 is required for the formation of the somatic gonad epithelium in Caenorhabditis elegans
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B.G. den Boer, S. Sookhareea, P. Dufourcq, M. Labouesse; A tissue-specific knock-out strategy reveals that lin-26 is required for the formation of the somatic gonad epithelium in Caenorhabditis elegans. Development 15 August 1998; 125 (16): 3213–3224. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.125.16.3213
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