Background: For a stem cell population to exist over an extended period, a balance must be maintained between self-renewing (proliferating) and differentiating daughter cells. Within the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line, this balance is controlled by a genetic regulatory pathway, which includes the canonical Notch signaling pathway. Results: Genetic screens identified the gene teg-1 as being involved in regulating the proliferation versus differentiation decision in the C. elegans germ line. Cloning of TEG-1 revealed that it is a homolog of mammalian CD2BP2, which has been implicated in a number of cellular processes, including in U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP formation in the pre-mRNA splicing reaction. The position of teg-1 in the genetic pathway regulating the proliferation versus differentiation decision, its single mutant phenotype, and its enrichment in nuclei, all suggest TEG-1 also functions as a splicing factor. TEG-1, as well as its human homolog, CD2BP2, directly bind to UAF-1 U2AF65, a component of the U2 auxiliary factor. Conclusions: TEG-1 functions as a splicing factor and acts to regulate the proliferation versus meiosis decision. The interaction of TEG-1 CD2BP2 with UAF-1 U2AF65, combined with its previously described function in U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP, suggests that TEG-1 CD2BP2 functions in two distinct locations in the splicing cascade.
- Pre-mRNA splicing
- Stem cell proliferation