Research Article

Regulation of Organogenesis by the Caenorhabditis elegans FoxA Protein PHA-4

Science  01 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5556, pp. 821-825
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065175

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Abstract

The pha-4 locus encodes a forkhead box A (FoxA/HNF3) transcription factor homolog that specifies organ identity for Caenorhabditis elegans pharyngeal cells. We used microarrays to identify pharyngeal genes and analyzed those genes to determine which were direct PHA-4 targets. Our data suggest that PHA-4 directly activates most or all pharyngeal genes. Furthermore, the relative affinity of PHA-4 for different TRTTKRY (R = A/G, K = T/G, Y = T/C) elements modulates the onset of gene expression, providing a mechanism to activate pharyngeal genes at different developmental stages. We suggest that direct transcriptional regulation of entire gene networks may be a common feature of organ identity genes.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: susan.mango{at}hci.utah.edu

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