The murine fem1 gene family: homologs of the Caenorhabditis elegans sex-determination protein FEM-1

Genomics. 1998 Dec 1;54(2):221-30. doi: 10.1006/geno.1998.5569.


The pathway controlling sex determination in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a model for the genetic control of cell-fate determination. We report here the cloning and characterization of a new mouse gene family with homology to FEM-1, a signal-transducing regulator in the C. elegans sex-determination pathway. This gene family consists of two known members, designated Fem1a and Fem1b. The highest degree of homology between the two mouse proteins and the nematode protein is in a domain that encodes seven sequential ANK repeats. The Fem1a gene localizes to chromosome 17 and is highly expressed in adult heart and skeletal muscle. The Fem1b gene localizes to chromosome 9 and is highly expressed in adult testis. Both genes are expressed during embryogenesis. The existence of FEM-1 homologs in the mouse raises the possibility that evolutionary conservation of ancient FEM-1 signaling interactions may play a role in vertebrate cell-fate determination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Exons / genetics
  • Helminth Proteins / chemistry
  • Introns / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • FEM-1 protein, C elegans
  • Helminth Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF064447
  • GENBANK/AF064448