Role of the C. elegans U2 snRNP protein MOG-2 in sex determination, meiosis, and splice site selection

Dev Biol. 2011 Jun 15;354(2):232-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.04.001. Epub 2011 Apr 12.


In Caenorhabditis elegans, germ cells develop as spermatids in the larva and as oocytes in the adult. Such fundamentally different gametes are produced through a fine-tuned balance between feminizing and masculinizing genes. For example, the switch to oogenesis requires repression of the fem-3 mRNA through the mog genes. Here we report on the cloning and characterization of the sex determination gene mog-2. MOG-2 is the worm homolog of spliceosomal protein U2A'. We found that MOG-2 is expressed in most nuclei of somatic and germ cells. In addition to its role in sex determination, mog-2 is required for meiosis. Moreover, MOG-2 binds to U2B″/RNP-3 in the absence of RNA. We also show that MOG-2 associates with the U2 snRNA in the absence of RNP-3. Therefore, we propose that MOG-2 is a bona fide component of the U2 snRNP. Albeit not being required for general pre-mRNA splicing, MOG-2 increases the splicing efficiency to a cryptic splice site that is located at the 5' end of the exon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology*
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / physiology
  • Male
  • Meiosis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Splice Sites*
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear / genetics
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear / physiology*
  • Sex Determination Processes*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • RNA Splice Sites
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear
  • mog-2 protein, C elegans