The lin-41 RBCC gene acts in the C. elegans heterochronic pathway between the let-7 regulatory RNA and the LIN-29 transcription factor

Mol Cell. 2000 Apr;5(4):659-69. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)80245-2.


Null mutations in the C. elegans heterochronic gene lin-41 cause precocious expression of adult fates at larval stages. Increased lin-41 activity causes the opposite phenotype, reiteration of larval fates. let-7 mutations cause similar reiterated heterochronic phenotypes that are suppressed by lin-41 mutations, showing that lin-41 is negatively regulated by let-7. lin-41 negatively regulates the timing of LIN-29 adult specification transcription factor expression. lin-41 encodes an RBCC protein, and two elements in the lin-413'UTR are complementary to the 21 nucleotide let-7 regulatory RNA. A lin-41::GFP fusion gene is downregulated in the tissues affected by lin-41 at the time that the let-7 regulatory RNA is upregulated. We suggest that late larval activation of let-7 RNA expression downregulates LIN-41 to relieve inhibition of lin-29.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Helminth*
  • Helminth Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Helminth / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Zinc Fingers


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Helminth Proteins
  • LIN-29 protein, C elegans
  • LIN-41 protein, C elegans
  • RNA, Helminth
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF195610
  • GENBANK/AF195611