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Suppressors of Glp-1, a Gene Required for Cell Communication during Development in Caenorhabditis Elegans, Define a Set of Interacting Genes

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Abstract

The glp-1 gene is essential for two cell interactions that control cell fate in Caenorhabditis elegans: induction of anterior pharynx in the embryo and induction of mitotic proliferation in the germ line. To identify other genes involved in these cell interactions, we have isolated suppressors of two temperature sensitive alleles of glp-1. Each of 14 recessive suppressors rescues both embryonic and germline glp-1(ts) defects. These suppressors are extragenic and define a set of six genes designated sog, for suppressor of glp-1. Suppression of glp-1 is the only obvious phenotype associated with sog mutations. Mutations in different sog genes show allele-specific intergenic noncomplementation, suggesting that the sog gene products may interact. In addition, we have analyzed a semidominant mutation that suppresses only the glp-1 germline phenotype and has a conditional feminized phenotype of its own. None of the suppressors rescues a glp-1 null mutation and therefore they do not bypass a requirement for glp-1. Distal tip cell function remains necessary for germline proliferation in suppressed animals. These suppressor mutations identify genes that may encode other components of the glp-1 mediated cell-signaling pathway or regulate glp-1 expression.

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