PMID: 2576011Dec 1, 1989

The mec-3 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans requires its own product for maintained expression and is expressed in three neuronal cell types

Genes & Development
J C Way, M Chalfie


The homeo-box-containing gene mec-3 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, is expressed in several sensory neurons, as assayed by expression of a mec-3-lacZ fusion. These cells are the touch receptors, which mediate the response to gentle touch, and the FLP and PVD neurons. PVD mediates a response to harsh mechanical stimuli, and FLP has an ultrastructure suggestive of a mechanoreceptor, but its function is unknown. mec-3 is necessary for the differentiation of the touch receptors, because in mec-3 mutants, the touch receptors do not function and have none of their distinguishing features. mec-3 is also needed for PVD function: The PVD neurons no longer mediate a response to harsh mechanical stimuli in the mutants. The expression of the mec-3-lacZ fusion, and presumably mec-3 itself, is altered by mutations in several genes originally identified by their effects on touch cell development. unc-86, another homeo-box-containing gene, is necessary for all mec-3-lacZ expression, but also affects several other lineages and cells in which mec-3 is not expressed. mec-3 activity appears to be required for maintained expression of the mec-3-lacZ fusion in all cells in which it is expressed. In a mec-17 mutant, mec-3-lacZ expression is n...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Transformation, Genetic
Caenorhabditis elegans
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