The Caenorhabditis elegans pos-1 gene encodes a zinc-finger protein that is required for germline specification during embryogenesis. The maternally provided mRNA is translationally regulated both spatially and temporally during early development. We have cloned orthologs of pos-1 from C. briggsae and C. remanei, two Caenorhabditis species that have diverged from C. elegans by approximately 20-40 million years. Two regions in the 3′ untranslated region are highly conserved among all three species. We find that the pos-1 RNA is expressed in the hermaphrodite and female gonads of C. briggsae and C. remanei but POS-1 protein is not detected at high levels in C. briggsae until the 2-cell stage of embyrogenesis. The protein expression is restricted to the germline precursors of the embryo. We conclude that pos-1 appears to be translationally regulated in C. briggsae as it is in C. elegans and speculate the conserved 3′ UTR sequences may be involved.
- 3′ UTR
- Translational regulation