Transcriptome profiling of the C. elegans Rb ortholog reveals diverse developmental roles

Dev Biol. 2007 May 15;305(2):674-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2007.02.021. Epub 2007 Feb 21.


LIN-35 is the single C. elegans ortholog of the mammalian pocket protein family members, pRb, p107, and p130. To gain insight into the roles of pocket proteins during development, a microarray analysis was performed with lin-35 mutants. Stage-specific regulation patterns were revealed, indicating that LIN-35 plays diverse roles at distinct developmental stages. LIN-35 was found to repress the expression of many genes involved in cell proliferation in larvae, an activity that is carried out in conjunction with E2F. In addition, LIN-35 was found to regulate neuronal genes during embryogenesis and targets of the intestinal-specific GATA transcription factor, ELT-2, at multiple developmental stages. Additional findings suggest that LIN-35 functions in cell cycle regulation in embryos in a manner that is independent of E2F. A comparison of LIN-35-regulated genes with known fly and mammalian pocket protein targets revealed a high degree of overlap, indicating strong conservation of pocket protein functions in diverse phyla. Based on microarray results and our refinement of the C. elegans E2F consensus sequence, we were able to generate a comprehensive list of putative E2F-regulated genes in C. elegans. These results implicate a large number of genes previously unconnected to cell cycle control as having potential roles in this process.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs / genetics
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • E2F Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • E2F Transcription Factors / genetics
  • E2F Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Repressor Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / biosynthesis
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / genetics*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / physiology*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • E2F Transcription Factors
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • lin-35 protein, C elegans