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Paper Chase

The Caenorhabditis elegans heterochronic gene lin-14 encodes a nuclear protein that forms a temporal developmental switch.

Nature. Mar 23, 1989;338(6213):313-9.
Ruvkun G, Giusto J.

Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


During wild-type development, a protein product of the Caenorhabditis elegans heterochronic gene lin-14 is localized to nuclei of specific somatic cells in embryos and early larvae, but is absent in late larvae and adult soma. Gain-of-function lin-14 mutations cause the level of lin-14 protein to remain high throughout development, resulting in developmental reiterations of early cell lineages. The normal down-regulation of the lin-14 nuclear protein level encodes a temporal switch between early and late cell fates.