The lin-12 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans is thought to encode a receptor which mediates cell-cell interactions required to specify certain cell fates. Reversion of the egg-laying defective phenotype caused by a hypomorphic lin-12 allele identified rare extragenic suppressor mutations in five genes, sel-1, sel-9, sel-10, sel-11 and sel(ar40) (sel = suppressor and/or enhancer of lin-12). Mutations in each of these sel genes suppress defects associated with reduced lin-12 activity, and enhance at least one defect associated with elevated lin-12 activity. None of the sel mutations cause any obvious phenotype in a wild-type background. Gene dosage experiments suggest that sel-1 and sel(ar40) mutations are reduction-of-function mutations, while sel-9 and sel-11 mutations are gain-of-function mutations. sel-1, sel-9, sel-11 and sel(ar40) mutations do not suppress amorphic lin-12 alleles, while sel-10 mutations are able to bypass partially the requirement for lin-12 activity in at least one cell fate decision. sel-1, sel-9, sel-10, sel-11 and sel(ar40) mutations are also able to suppress the maternal-effect lethality caused by a partial loss-of-function allele of glp-1, a gene that is both structurally and functionally related to lin-12. These sel genes may therefore function in both lin-12 and glp-1 mediated cell fate decisions.
- Copyright © 1993 by the Genetics Society of America