RNA target specificity of the STAR/GSG domain post-transcriptional regulatory protein GLD-1

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2004 Jan;11(1):20-8. doi: 10.1038/nsmb706. Epub 2003 Dec 29.


The post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression underlies several critical developmental phenomena. In metazoa, gene products that are expressed, silenced and packaged during oogenesis govern early developmental processes prior to nascent transcription activation. Furthermore, tissue-specific alternative splicing of several transcription factors controls pattern formation and organ development. A highly conserved family of proteins containing a STAR/GSG RNA-binding domain is essential to both processes. Here, we identify the consensus STAR-binding element (SBE) required for specific mRNA recognition by GLD-1, a key regulator of Caenorhabditis elegans germline development. We have identified and verified new GLD-1 repression targets containing this sequence. The results suggest additional functions of GLD-1 in X-chromosome silencing and early embryogenesis. The SBE is present in Quaking and How mRNA targets, suggesting that STAR protein specificity is highly conserved. Similarities between the SBE and the branch-site signal indicate a possible competition mechanism for STAR/GSG regulation of splicing variants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / chemistry
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dimerization
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Male
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Helminth / genetics*
  • RNA, Helminth / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • GLD-1 protein, C elegans
  • RNA, Helminth
  • RNA, Messenger