daf-1, a C. elegans gene controlling dauer larva development, encodes a novel receptor protein kinase

Cell. 1990 May 18;61(4):635-45. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90475-t.


The dauer larva is a developmentally arrested, non-feeding dispersal stage normally formed in response to overcrowding and limited food. The daf-1 gene specifies an intermediate step in a hierarchy of genes thought to specify a pathway for neural transduction of environmental cues. Mutations in daf-1 result in constitutive formation of dauer larvae even in abundant food. This gene has been cloned by Tc1-transposon tagging, and it appears to encode a new class of serine/threonine kinase. A daf-1 probe detects a 2.5 kb mRNA of low abundance, and the DNA sequence indicates that the gene encodes a 669 amino acid protein, with a putative transmembrane domain and a C-terminal protein kinase domain most closely related to the cytosolic, raf proto-oncogene family. Hence, the daf-1 product appears to be a cell-surface receptor required for transduction of environmental signals into an appropriate developmental response.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis / growth & development
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Genes*
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DAF-1 protein, C elegans
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Protein Kinases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M32877