Functional recovery of the germ line following splicing collapse

Cell Death Differ. 2022 Apr;29(4):772-787. doi: 10.1038/s41418-021-00891-z. Epub 2021 Oct 18.


Splicing introns from precursor-messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) transcripts is essential for translating functional proteins. Here, we report that the previously uncharacterized Caenorhabditis elegans protein MOG-7 acts as a pre-mRNA splicing factor. Depleting MOG-7 from the C. elegans germ line causes intron retention in most germline-expressed genes, impeding the germ cell cycle, and causing defects in nuclear morphology, germ cell identity and sterility. Despite the deleterious consequences caused by MOG-7 loss, the adult germ line can functionally recover to produce viable and fertile progeny when MOG-7 is restored. Germline recovery is dependent on a burst of apoptosis that likely clears defective germ cells, and viable gametes generated from the proliferation of germ cells in the progenitor zone. Together, these findings reveal that MOG-7 is essential for germ cell development, and that the germ line can functionally recover after a collapse in RNA splicing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins* / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins* / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans* / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans* / metabolism
  • Germ Cells / metabolism
  • RNA Precursors / genetics
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger