COG-2, a Sox domain protein necessary for establishing a functional vulval-uterine connection in Caenorhabditis elegans

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In screens for mutants defective in vulval morphogenesis, multiple mutants were isolated in which the uterus and the vulva fail to make a proper connection. We describe five alleles that define the gene cog-2, for connection of gonad defective. To form a functional connection between the vulva and the uterus, the anchor cell must fuse with the multinucleate uterine seam cell, derived from uterine cells that adopt a π lineage. In cog-2 mutants, the anchor cell does not fuse to the uterine seam cell and, instead, remains at the apex of the vulva, blocking the connection between the vulval and uterine lumens, resulting in an egg-laying defective phenotype. According to lineage analysis and expression assays for two π-cell-specific markers, induction of the π fate occurs normally in cog-2 mutants. We have cloned cog-2 and shown that it encodes a Sox family transcription factor that is expressed in the π lineage. Thus, it appears that COG-2 is a transcription factor that regulates a late-stage aspect of uterine seam cell differentiation that specifically affects anchor cell-uterine seam cell fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology
  • Anatomy

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