TRIM-NHL protein, NHL-2, modulates cell fate choices in the C. elegans germ line

John L. Brenner, Erin M. Jyo, Ariz Mohammad, Paul Fox, Vovanti Jones, Elaine Mardis, Tim Schedl, Eleanor M. Maine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Many tissues contain multipotent stem cells that are critical for maintaining tissue function. In Caenorhabditis elegans, germline stem cells allow gamete production to continue in adulthood. In the gonad, GLP-1/Notch signaling from the distal tip cell niche to neighboring germ cells activates a complex regulatory network to maintain a stem cell population. GLP-1/Notch signaling positively regulates production of LST-1 and SYGL-1 proteins that, in turn, interact with a set of PUF/FBF proteins to positively regulate the stem cell fate. We previously described sog (suppressor of glp-1 loss of function) and teg (tumorous enhancer of glp-1 gain of function) genes that limit the stem cell fate and/or promote the meiotic fate. Here, we show that sog-10 is allelic to nhl-2. NHL-2 is a member of the conserved TRIM-NHL protein family whose members can bind RNA and ubiquitinate protein substrates. We show that NHL-2 acts, at least in part, by inhibiting the expression of PUF-3 and PUF-11 translational repressor proteins that promote the stem cell fate. Two other negative regulators of stem cell fate, CGH-1 (conserved germline helicase) and ALG-5 (Argonaute protein), may work with NHL-2 to modulate the stem cell population. In addition, NHL-2 activity promotes the male germ cell fate in XX animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Biology
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • C. elegans
  • GLP-1/Notch signaling
  • Germline
  • NHL-2
  • Stem cell fate
  • TRIM-NHL proteins


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