The Mi-2 protein is the central component of the recently isolated NuRD nucleosome remodelling and histone deacetylase complex. Although the NuRD complex has been the subject of extensive biochemical analyses, little is known about its biological function. Here we show that the two C. elegans Mi-2 homologues, LET-418 and CHD-3, play essential roles during development. The two proteins possess both shared and unique functions during vulval cell fate determination, including antagonism of the Ras signalling pathway required for vulval cell fate induction and the proper execution of the 2 degrees cell fate of vulval precursor cells, a process under the control of LIN-12 Notch signalling.

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