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Suzuki, Y., Yandell, M. D., Roy, P. J., Krishna, S., Savage-Dunn, C., Ross, R. M., Padgett, R. W., Wood, W. B.

A BMP Homolog Acts as a Dose-dependent Regulator of Body Size and Male Tail Patterning In Caenorhabditis elegans

Development. 1999 Jan 01; 126(2): 241-50.

PubMed Citation


We cloned the dbl-1 gene, a C. elegans homolog of Drosophila decapentaplegic and vertebrate BMP genes. Loss-of-function mutations in dbl-1 cause markedly reduced body size and defective male copulatory structures. Conversely, dbl-1 overexpression causes markedly increased body size and partly complementary male tail phenotypes, indicating that DBL-1 acts as a dose-dependent regulator of these processes. Evidence from genetic interactions indicates that these effects are mediated by a Smad signaling pathway, for which DBL-1 is a previously unidentified ligand. Our study of the dbl-1 expression pattern suggests a role for neuronal cells in global size regulation as well as male tail patterning.

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