egl-13 encodes a Sox domain protein that is required for proper uterine seam cell development in Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate that mutations of the C2H2 zinc fingers encoded by the him-8 (high incidence of males) gene partially suppress the egg-laying and connection-of-gonad morphology defects caused by incompletely penetrant alleles of egl-13. him-8 alleles have previously characterized recessive effects on recombination and segregation of the X chromosome during meiosis due to failure of X chromosome homolog pairing and subsequent synapsis. However, we show that him-8 alleles are semi-dominant suppressors of egl-13, and the semi-dominant effect is due to haplo-insufficiency of the him-8 locus. Thus, we conclude that the wild-type him-8 gene product acts antagonistically to EGL-13. Null alleles of egl-13 cannot be suppressed, suggesting that this antagonistic interaction most likely occurs either upstream of or in parallel with EGL-13. Moreover, we conclude that suppression of egl-13 is due to a meiosis-independent function of him-8 because suppression is observed in mutants that have severely reduced meiotic germ cell populations and suppression does not depend on the function of him-8 in the maternal germ line. We also show that the chromosomal context of egl-13 seems important in the him-8 suppression mechanism. Interactions between these genes can give insight into function of Sox family members, which are important in many aspects of metazoan development, and into functions of him-8 outside of meiosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology