The Ras-MAP kinase pathway regulates varieties of fundamental cellular events. In Caenorhabditis elegans, this pathway is required for oocyte development; however, the nature of its up-stream regulators has remained elusive. Here, we identified a C. elegans gene, rog-1, which encodes the only protein having the IRS-type phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain in the worms. ROG-1 has no obvious domain structure aside from the PTB domain, suggesting that it could serve as an adaptor down-stream of protein-tyrosine kinases (PTKs). RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated down-regulation of rog-1 mRNA significantly decreased brood size. rog-1 (tm1031) truncation mutants showed a severe disruption in progression of developing oocytes from pachytene to diakinesis, as was seen in worms carrying a loss-of-function mutation in the let-60 Ras or mpk-1 MAP kinase gene. Furthermore, let-60 Ras-regulated activation of MPK-1 in the gonad is undetectable in rog-1 (tm1031) mutants. Conversely, a gain-of-function mutation in the let-60 Ras gene rescues the brood size reduction and germ cell abnormality in rog-1 (tm1031) worms. Consistently, rog-1 is preferentially expressed in the germ cells and its expression in the gonad is essential for oocyte development. Thus, ROG-1 is a key positive regulator of the Ras-MAP kinase pathway that permits germ cells to exit from pachytene.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology