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The Caenorhabditis Elegans Locus Lin-15, a Negative Regulator of a Tyrosine Kinase Signaling Pathway, Encodes Two Different Proteins

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  • Investigations
  • Biology


The Caenorhabditis elegans locus lin-15 negatively regulates an intercellular signaling process that induces formation of the hermaphrodite vulva. The lin-15 locus controls two separate genetic activities. Mutants that lack both activities have multiple, ectopic pseudo-vulvae resulting from the overproduction of vulval cells, whereas mutants defective in only one lin-15 activity appear wild-type. lin-15 acts non-cell-autonomously to prevent the activation of a receptor tyrosine kinase/ras signaling pathway. We report here the molecular characterization of the lin-15 locus. The two lin-15 activities are encoded by contiguous genomic regions and by two distinct, non-overlapping transcripts that may be processed from a single mRNA precursor by trans-splicing. Based on the DNA sequence, the 719- and 1,440-amino acid lin-15 proteins are not similar to each other or to known proteins. lin-15 multivulva mutants, which are defective in both lin-15 activities, contain deletions and insertions that affect the lin-15 genomic region.

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