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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)
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)
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)
The Ras-ERK/MAP (Mitogen-Activated Protein) kinase signaling pathway governs many cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, cell fate, homeostasis, and survival in all eukaryotes. Constitutive activation of the Ras-ERK/MAPK signaling pathway often leads to promotion of abnormal cell growth and tumorigenesis. Although the regulation of the(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)
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)
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)
In eukaryotes, highly conserved Dna2 helicase/endonuclease proteins are involved in DNA replication, DNA double-strand break repair, telomere regulation, and mitochondrial function. The Dna2 protein assists Fen1 (Flap structure-specific endonuclease 1) protein in the maturation of Okazaki fragments. In yeast, Dna2 is absolutely essential for viability,(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)
How a committed cell can be reverted to an undifferentiated state is a central question in stem cell biology. This process, called dedifferentiation, is likely to be important for replacing stem cells as they age or get damaged. Tremendous progress has been made in understanding this fundamental process, but its mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we(More)