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Gene Review

hmg-4  -  Protein HMG-4

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on hmg-4

  • P2 signaling downregulates an HMG domain protein, POP-1, in one EMS daughter [1].
  • pop-1 encodes an HMG box protein required for the specification of a mesoderm precursor in early C. elegans embryos [2].
  • In the sister MS cell, the endoderm fate is prevented by the action of an HMG box-containing protein, POP-1, through an unknown mechanism [3].
  • Finally, the HMG protein POP-1, a downstream component of the Wnt signalling pathway, has recently been shown to be important in many anterior/posterior fate decisions during C. elegans embryogenesis (Lin, R., Hill, R. J. and Priess, J. R. (1998) Cell 92, 229-239) [4].
  • In lymphocyte differentiation, several HMG box proteins play a decisive role [5].

Biological context of hmg-4

  • The comparison of DNA sequences that code for HMG-box proteins suggests that the ancestral HMG box was coded by an intronless gene, which picked up one or more introns during its radiation [6].


  1. Wnt signaling polarizes an early C. elegans blastomere to distinguish endoderm from mesoderm. Thorpe, C.J., Schlesinger, A., Carter, J.C., Bowerman, B. Cell (1997) [Pubmed]
  2. pop-1 encodes an HMG box protein required for the specification of a mesoderm precursor in early C. elegans embryos. Lin, R., Thompson, S., Priess, J.R. Cell (1995) [Pubmed]
  3. A POP-1 repressor complex restricts inappropriate cell type-specific gene transcription during Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis. Calvo, D., Victor, M., Gay, F., Sui, G., Luke, M.P., Dufourcq, P., Wen, G., Maduro, M., Rothman, J., Shi, Y. EMBO J. (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Anterior-posterior patterning within the Caenorhabditis elegans endoderm. Schroeder, D.F., McGhee, J.D. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
  5. HMG box containing transcription factors in lymphocyte differentiation. Schilham, M.W., Clevers, H. Semin. Immunol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. The evolution of High Mobility Group Box (HMGB) chromatin proteins in multicellular animals. Sessa, L., Bianchi, M.E. Gene (2007) [Pubmed]
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