Dedifferentiation of primary spermatocytes into germ cell tumors in C. elegans Lacking the pumilio-like protein PUF-8

Kuppuswamy Subramaniam, Geraldine Seydoux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PUF proteins are a conserved family of RNA binding proteins that regulate RNA stability and translation by binding to specific sequences in 3′-untranslated regions. Drosophila PUMILIO and C. elegans FBF are essential for self-renewal of germline stem cells, suggesting that a common function of PUF proteins may be to sustain mitotic proliferation of stem cells [1]. Here, we show that PUF-8, the C. elegans PUF most related to PUMILIO, performs a different function in germ cells that have begun meiosis: in primary spermatocytes, puf-8 is required to maintain meiosis and prevent the return to mitosis. Primary spermatocytes lacking PUF-8 complete meiotic prophase but do not undergo normal meiotic divisions. Instead, they dedifferentiate back into mitotically cycling germ cells and form rapidly growing tumors. These findings reveal an unexpected ability for germ cells that have completed meiotic prophase to return to the mitotic cycle, and they support the view that PUF proteins regulate multiple transitions during germline development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 21 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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