The C. elegans Homolog of RBBP6 (RBPL-1) regulates fertility through controlling cell proliferation in the germline and nutrient synthesis in the intestine.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23536819

Huang P, Ma X, Zhao Y, Miao L. The C. elegans Homolog of RBBP6 (RBPL-1) regulates fertility through controlling cell proliferation in the germline and nutrient synthesis in the intestine. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e58736.
RBBP6 (retinoblastoma binding protein 6, also known as PACT or P2P-R in humans) is a multi-domain protein that functions in multiple processes, such as mitosis, cell differentiation, and cell apoptosis. RBBP6 is evolutionarily conserved and is present in unicellular organisms to mammals. Studies of RBBP6 have mostly focused on its RB- and p53-binding domains, which are found exclusively in mammals. Here, we investigated the C. elegans homolog of RBBP6 to explore the functional roles of its other domains. We found that RBPL-1, the homolog of RBBP6 in C. elegans, is indispensable for worm development. RNAi silencing of rbpl-1 led to embryonic lethality, as well as defects in oocyte production and intestine development. rbpl-1 RNAi worms showed defects in germ cell proliferation, suggesting that RBPL-1 regulates mitosis. Moreover, RNAi silencing of rbpl-1 inhibited nutrient synthesis in the worm intestine. RBPL-1, as a nucleolus protein, was found to be expressed in diverse tissues and necessary for both germline and soma development. Using microarray analysis, we identified ˜700 genes whose expression levels were changed at least 10-fold in rbpl-1 worms. We propose that RBPL-1, like its yeast homolog, may regulate gene expression as an mRNA cleavage and polyadenylation factor. Taken together, the findings from this study reveal that RBPL-1 plays a pivotal role in C. elegans germline and soma development, suggesting that the functions of RBBP6 are conserved in diverse eukaryotic species.