Cooperative interactions between the Caenorhabditis elegans homeoproteins UNC-86 and MEC-3

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Sep 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5126, pp. 1324-1328
DOI: 10.1126/science.8103239


The POU-type homeodomain protein UNC-86 and the LIM-type homeodomain protein MEC-3, which specify neuronal cell fate in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, bind cooperatively as a heterodimer to the mec-3 promoter. Heterodimer formation increases DNA binding stability and, therefore, increases DNA binding specificity. The in vivo significance of this heterodimer formation in neuronal differentiation is suggested by (i) a loss-of-function mec-3 mutation whose product in vitro binds DNA well but forms heterodimers with UNC-86 poorly and (ii) a mec-3 mutation with wild-type function whose product binds DNA poorly but forms heterodimers well.

Stay Connected to Science