Histones play important roles not only in the structural changes of chromatin but also in regulating gene expression. Expression of histones is partly regulated post-transcriptionally by the stem-loop binding protein (SLBP)/hairpin binding protein (HBP). We report the developmental function of CDL-1, the C. elegans homologue of SLBP/HBP. In the C. elegans cdl-1 mutants, cell corpses resulting from programmed cell death appear later and persist much longer than those in the wild type. They also exhibit distinct morphological defects in body elongation and movement of the pharyngeal cells toward the buccal opening. The CDL-1 protein binds to the stem-loop structures in the 3′-UTR of C. elegans core histone mRNAs, and the mutant forms of this protein show reduced binding activities. A decrease in the amount of core histone proteins phenocopied the cdl-1 mutant embryos, suggesting that CDL-1 contributes to the proper expression of core histone proteins. We propose that loss-of-function of cdl-1 causes aberrant chromatin structure, which affects the cell cycle and cell death, as well as transcription of genes essential for morphogenesis.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
- Caenorhabditis elegans
- Chromatin structure
- Programmed cell death