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Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and PUF (for Pumilio and FBF [fem-3 binding factor]) RNA-binding proteins control many cellular processes critical for animal development and tissue homeostasis. In the present work, we report that PUF proteins act directly on MAPK/ERK-encoding mRNAs to downregulate their expression in both the Caenorhabditis elegans(More)
RNA regulators are critical for animal development, especially in the germ line where gene expression is often modulated by changes in mRNA stability, translation, and localization. In this paper, we focus on Caenorhabditis elegans LARP-1, a representative of one La-related protein (Larp) family found broadly among eukaryotes. LARP-1 possesses a signature(More)
Caenorhabditis elegans germline cells are maintained in an undifferentiated and mitotically dividing state by Notch signaling and the FBF (for fem-3 binding factor) RNA-binding protein. Here, we report that the LIP-1 phosphatase, a proposed homolog of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphatases, is required for the normal extent of germline(More)
Small molecules can control cell fate in vivo and may allow directed induction of desired cell types, providing an attractive alternative to transplant-based approaches in regenerative medicine. We have chemically induced functional oocytes in Caenorhabditis elegans adults that otherwise produced only sperm. These findings suggest that chemical approaches(More)
FOG-3, the single Caenorhabditis elegans Tob/BTG protein, directs germ cells to adopt the sperm fate at the expense of oogenesis. Importantly, FOG-3 activity must be maintained for the continued production of sperm that is typical of the male sex. Vertebrate Tob proteins have antiproliferative activity and ERK phosphorylation of Tob proteins has been(More)
Early developmental stages are highly sensitive to stress and it has been reported that pre-conditioning with tobacco smoking during adolescence predisposes those youngsters to become smokers as adults. However, the molecular mechanisms of nicotine-induced transgenerational consequences are unknown. In this study, we genome-widely investigated the impact of(More)
Vertebrate Tob/BTG proteins inhibit cell proliferation when overexpressed in tissue-culture cells, and they can function as tumor suppressors in mice. The single Caenorhabditis elegans Tob/BTG ortholog, FOG-3, by contrast, was identified from its loss-of-function phenotype as a regulator of sperm fate specification. Here we report that FOG-3 also regulates(More)
Nicotine, the major psychoactive compound in tobacco, targets nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and results in drug dependence. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans' (C. elegans) genome encodes conserved and extensive nicotinic receptor subunits, representing a useful system to investigate nicotine-induced nAChR expressions in the context of drug(More)
The vulval precursor cell (VPC) fate patterning in Caenorhabditis elegans is a classic model experimental system for cell fate determination and patterning in development. Despite its apparent simplicity (six neighboring cells arranged in one dimension) and many experimental and computational efforts, the patterning strategy and mechanism remain(More)
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique opportunity for biological and basic medical researches due to its genetic tractability and well-defined developmental lineage. It also provides an exceptional model for genetic, molecular, and cellular analysis of human disease-related genes. Recently, C. elegans has been used as an ideal(More)