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Gene Review

sem-4  -  Protein SEM-4

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on sem-4

  • Analysis of sem-4 alleles suggests that different zinc fingers in the SEM-4 protein may function differentially in neuronal and mesodermal cell types [1].
  • The abnormal touch-neuron-like-cells in sem-4 animals express mec-3; we show that a subset also express egl-5 [2].
  • The Caenorhabditis elegans sal gene sem-4 controls the fate of several different cell types, including neurons, muscle and hypodermis [2].
  • sem-4/spalt and egl-17/FGF have a conserved role in sex myoblast specification and migration in P. pacificus and C. elegans [3].
  • sem-4 promotes vulval cell-fate determination in Caenorhabditis elegans through regulation of lin-39 Hox [4].

Biological context of sem-4

  • By characterizing three new alleles of sem-4 that we identified in a screen for vulval-defective mutants, we determined that loss of sem-4 activity results in abnormal specification of the secondary vulval cell lineages [4].
  • We analyzed sem-4 interactions with other genes involved in vulval differentiation and determined that sem-4 does not function directly in the Ras-mediated signal transduction pathway but acts in close association with and upstream of lin-39 to promote vulval cell fate [4].
  • In addition, on the basis of their Pvl phenotypes, we show that the previously identified genes lin-26, mom-3/mig-14, egl-18, and sem-4 also function during vulval development [5].


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