MAP kinase signaling specificity mediated by the LIN-1 Ets/LIN-31 WH transcription factor complex during C. elegans vulval induction

Cell. 1998 May 15;93(4):569-80. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81186-1.

Abstract

The let-23 receptor/mpk-1 MAP kinase signaling pathway induces the vulva in C. elegans. We show that MPK-1 directly regulates both the LIN-31 winged-helix and the LIN-1 Ets transcription factors to specify the vulval cell fate. lin-31 and lin-1 act genetically downstream of mpk-1, and both proteins can be directly phosphorylated by MAP kinase. LIN-31 binds to LIN-1, and the LIN-1/LIN-31 complex inhibits vulval induction. Phosphorylation of LIN-31 by MPK-1 disrupts the LIN-1/LIN-31 complex, relieving vulval inhibition. Phosphorylated LIN-31 may also act as a transcriptional activator, promoting vulval cell fates. LIN-31 is a vulval-specific effector of MPK-1, while LIN-1 acts as a general effector. The partnership of tissue-specific and general effectors may confer specificity onto commonly used signaling pathways, creating distinct tissue-specific outcomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Embryonic Induction / physiology
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Protein Vmw65 / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mutation
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Stem Cells
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transgenes
  • Vulva / cytology
  • Vulva / embryology

Substances

  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Protein Vmw65
  • Lin-1 protein, C elegans
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • lin-31 protein, C elegans
  • ErbB Receptors
  • let-23 protein, C elegans
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • mpk-1 protein, C elegans