Caenorhabditis elegans GLD-1, a KH motif containing RNA-binding protein of the GSG/STAR subfamily, controls diverse aspects of germ line development, suggesting that it may have multiple mRNA targets. We used an immunoprecipitation/subtractive hybridization/cloning strategy to identify 15 mRNAs that are putative targets of GLD-1 binding and regulation. For one target, the rme-2 yolk receptor mRNA, GLD-1 acts as a translational repressor to spatially restrict RME-2 accumulation, and thus yolk uptake, to late-stage oocytes. We found that GLD-1 binds sequences in both 5′ coding and the 3′ untranslated region of rme-2 mRNA. Initial characterization of the other 14 targets shows that (1) they are coexpressed with GLD-1; (2) they can have mutant/RNA-mediated interference depletion phenotypes indicating functions in germ line development or as maternal products necessary for early embryogenesis; and (3) GLD-1 may coregulate mRNAs corresponding to functionally redundant subsets of genes within two gene families. Thus, a diverse set of genes have come under GLD-1-mediated regulation to achieve normal germ line development. Previous work identified tra-2 as a GLD-1 target for germ line sex determination. Comparisons of GLD-1-mediated translational control of rme-2 and tra-2 suggests that the mechanisms may differ for distinct target mRNA species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2408-2420
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2001


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Germ line
  • Maxi-KH
  • Target mRNAs
  • Translational control
  • Yolk receptor


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