C. elegans GLA-3 is a novel component of the MAP kinase MPK-1 signaling pathway required for germ cell survival

Genes Dev. 2006 Aug 15;20(16):2279-92. doi: 10.1101/gad.384506.


During oocyte development in Caenorhabditis elegans, approximately half of all developing germ cells undergo apoptosis. While this process is evolutionarily conserved from worms to humans, the regulators of germ cell death are still largely unknown. In a genetic screen for novel genes involved in germline apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified and cloned gla-3. Loss of gla-3 function results in increased germline apoptosis and reduced brood size due to defective pachytene exit from meiosis I. gla-3 encodes a TIS11-like zinc-finger-containing protein that is expressed in the germline, from the L4 larval stage to adulthood. Biochemical evidence and genetic epistasis analysis revealed that GLA-3 participates in the MAPK signaling cascade and directly interacts with the C. elegans MAPK MPK-1, an essential meiotic regulator. Our results show that GLA-3 is a new component of the MAPK cascade that controls meiotic progression and apoptosis in the C. elegans germline and functions as a negative regulator of the MAPK signaling pathway during vulval development and in muscle cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Survival*
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / genetics
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Cells
  • Mutagenesis
  • Mutation
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Transgenes
  • Tristetraprolin / genetics
  • Tristetraprolin / metabolism*
  • Vulva / embryology


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • GLA-3 protein, C elegans
  • Tristetraprolin
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • mpk-1 protein, C elegans

Associated data

  • SWISSPROT/P39745
  • SWISSPROT/P63086