ifet-1 is a broad-scale translational repressor required for normal P granule formation in C. elegans

J Cell Sci. 2013 Feb 1;126(Pt 3):850-9. doi: 10.1242/jcs.119834. Epub 2012 Dec 21.


Large cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein germ granule complexes are a common feature in germ cells. In C. elegans these are called P granules and for much of the life-cycle they associate with nuclear pore complexes in germ cells. P granules are rich in proteins that function in diverse RNA pathways. Here we report that the C. elegans homolog of the eIF4E-transporter IFET-1 is required for oogenesis but not spermatogenesis. We show that IFET-1 is required for translational repression of several maternal mRNAs in the distal gonad and functions in conjunction with the broad-scale translational regulators CGH-1, CAR-1 and PATR-1 to regulate germ cell sex determination. Furthermore we have found that IFET-1 localizes to P granules throughout the gonad and in the germ cell lineage in the embryo. Interestingly, IFET-1 is required for the normal ultrastructure of P granules and for the localization of CGH-1 and CAR-1 to P granules. Our findings suggest that IFET-1 is a key translational regulator and is required for normal P granule formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism*
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E / genetics
  • Germ Cells / physiology*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nuclear Pore / metabolism*
  • Oogenesis / genetics
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sex Determination Processes


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Car-1 protein, C elegans
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
  • IFET-1 protein, C elegans
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • cgh-1 protein, C elegans