Novel cysteine-rich motif and homeodomain in the product of the Caenorhabditis elegans cell lineage gene lin-11

Nature. 1990 Apr 26;344(6269):876-9. doi: 10.1038/344876a0.


The gene lin-11 is required for the asymmetric division of a vulval precursor cell type in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Putative lin-11 complementary DNAs were sequenced and found to encode a protein that contains both a homeodomain and two tandem copies of a novel cysteine-rich motif: C-X2-C-X17-19-H-X2-C-X2-C-X2-C-X7-11-(C)-X8-C. Two tandem copies of this motif are also present amino-terminal to the homeodomains in the proteins encoded by the genes mec-3, which is required for C. elegans touch neuron differentiation, and isl-1, which encodes a rat insulin I gene enhancer-binding protein. The arrangement of cysteine residues in this motif, referred to as LIM (for lin-11 isl-1 mec-3), suggests that this region is a metal-binding domain. The presence in these three proteins of both a potential metal-binding domain and a homeodomain distinguishes them from previously characterized proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis / genetics*
  • Cell Division
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cysteine*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Female
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Vulva / cytology


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA
  • Cysteine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X54355