The Caenorhabditis elegans schnurri homolog sma-9 mediates stage- and cell type-specific responses to DBL-1 BMP-related signaling

Jun Liang, Robyn Lints, Marisa L. Foehr, Rafal Tokarz, Ling Yu, Scott W. Emmons, Ju Liu, Cathy Savage-Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

In Caenorhabditis elegans, the DBL-1 pathway, a BMP/TGFβ-related signaling cascade, regulates body size and male tail development. We have cloned a new gene, sma-9, that encodes the C. elegans homolog of Schnurri, a large zinc finger transcription factor that regulates dpp target genes in Drosophila. Genetic interactions, the sma-9 loss-of-function phenotype, and the expression pattern suggest that sma-9 acts as a downstream component and is required in the DBL-1 signaling pathway, and thus provide the first evidence of a conserved role for Schnurri proteins in BMP signaling. Analysis of sma-9 mutant phenotypes demonstrates that SMA-9 activity is temporally and spatially restricted relative to known DBL-1 pathway components. In contrast with Drosophila schnurri, the presence of multiple alternatively spliced sma-9 transcripts suggests protein isoforms with potentially different cell sublocalization and molecular functions. We propose that SMA-9 isoforms function as transcriptional cofactors that confer specific responses to DBL-1 pathway activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6453-6464
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopment
Volume130
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2003

Keywords

  • Alternative splicing
  • BMP
  • Body size
  • Pattern formation
  • Schnurri
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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