A Zn-finger/FH2-domain containing protein, FOZI-1, acts redundantly with CeMyoD to specify striated body wall muscle fates in the Caenorhabditis elegans postembryonic mesoderm

Academic Article


  • Striated muscle development in vertebrates requires the redundant functions of multiple members of the MyoD family. Invertebrates such as Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans contain only one MyoD homolog in each organism. Earlier observations suggest that factors outside of the MyoD family might function redundantly with MyoD in striated muscle fate specification in these organisms. However, the identity of these factors has remained elusive. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of FOZI-1, a putative transcription factor that functions redundantly with CeMyoD (HLH-1) in striated body wall muscle (BWM) fate specification in the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm. fozi-1 encodes a novel nuclear-localized protein with motifs characteristic of both transcription factors and actin-binding proteins. We show that FOZI-1 shares the same expression pattern as CeMyoD in the postembryonic mesodermal lineage, the M lineage, and that fozi-1-null mutants exhibit similar M lineage-null defects to those found in animals lacking CeMyoD in the M lineage (e.g. loss of a fraction of M lineage-derived BWMs). Interestingly, fozi-1-null mutants with a reduced level of CeMyoD lack most, if not all, M lineage-derived BWMs. Our results indicate that FOZI-1 and the Hox factor MAB-5 function redundantly with CeMyoD in the specification of the striated BWM fate in the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm, implicating a remarkable level of complexity for the production of a simple striated musculature in C. elegans.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 20386568
  • Author List

  • Amin NM; Hu K; Pruyne D; Terzic D; Bretscher A; Liu J
  • Start Page

  • 19
  • End Page

  • 29
  • Volume

  • 134
  • Issue

  • 1