gon-14 Functions With Class B and Class C Synthetic Multivulva Genes to Control Larval Growth in Caenorhabditis elegans
Previous work showed that C. elegans gon-14 is required for gonadogenesis. Here we report that gon-14 encodes a protein with similarity to LIN-15B, a class B synMuv protein. An extensive region of GON-14 contains blocks of sequence similarity to transposases of the hAT superfamily, but key residues are not conserved, suggesting a distant relationship. GON-14 also contains a putative THAP DNA-binding domain. A rescuing gon-14∷GON-14∷VENUS reporter is broadly expressed during development and localizes to the nucleus. Strong loss-of-function and predicted null gon-14 alleles have pleiotropic defects, including multivulval (Muv) defects and temperature-sensitive larval arrest. Although the gon-14 Muv defect is not enhanced by synMuv mutations, gon-14 interacts genetically with class B and class C synMuv genes, including lin-35/Rb, let-418/Mi-2β, and trr-1/TRRAP. The gon-14; synMuv double mutants arrest as larvae when grown under conditions supporting development to adulthood for the respective single mutants. The gon-14 larval arrest is suppressed by loss of mes-2/E(Z), mes-6/ESC, or mes-4, which encodes a SET domain protein. Additionally, gon-14 affects expression of pgl-1 and lag-2, two genes regulated by the synMuv genes. We suggest that gon-14 functions with class B and class C synMuv genes to promote larval growth, in part by antagonizing MES-2,3,6/ESC-E(z) and MES-4.