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Gene Review

unc-86  -  Protein UNC-86

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on unc-86


Biological context of unc-86

  • These data suggest that unc-86 acts in a phylogenetically conserved pathway that couples neuroblast cell lineage asymmetry to the generation of diverse neural types [3].
  • Distinct regulatory regions activate unc-86 expression in particular sets of sublineages [3].
  • The POU homeo box gene unc-86 specifies neuroblast and neural identities in the developing Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system [3].
  • These findings suggest that unc-86 encodes a transcription factor, and that the related mammalian transcription factors may function to control cell fates and cell differentiation [2].
  • Thus, increased or unregulated expression of genes downstream of unc-86 can confer novel neural phenotypes suggestive of roles for unc-86-regulated genes in neural pathfinding and function [4].

Anatomical context of unc-86


Associations of unc-86 with chemical compounds


Regulatory relationships of unc-86

  • Our results suggest that the mec-3 promoter is activated in all anterior daughters of unc-86-expressing cells [7].

Other interactions of unc-86

  • Two mutations that suppress the egg-laying defect of unc-86 have no effect on the mec-3 expression defect in an unc-86 mutant [8].
  • The POU homeobox gene unc-86 specifies many neuroblast and neural fates in the developing C. elegans nervous system [4].
  • In an unc-86; ham-2 double mutant the HSNs are defective in EGL-43 down-regulation, an egl-5-like phenotype that is absent in either single mutant [9].
  • In addition, mbr-1 expression is regulated by UNC-86, a POU domain transcription factor, and the pruning of the excessive AIM connection is impaired in the unc-86 mutant [10].


  1. The unc-86 gene product couples cell lineage and cell identity in C. elegans. Finney, M., Ruvkun, G. Cell (1990) [Pubmed]
  2. The C. elegans cell lineage and differentiation gene unc-86 encodes a protein with a homeodomain and extended similarity to transcription factors. Finney, M., Ruvkun, G., Horvitz, H.R. Cell (1988) [Pubmed]
  3. Lineage-specific regulators couple cell lineage asymmetry to the transcription of the Caenorhabditis elegans POU gene unc-86 during neurogenesis. Baumeister, R., Liu, Y., Ruvkun, G. Genes Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. VP16-activation of the C. elegans neural specification transcription factor UNC-86 suppresses mutations in downstream genes and causes defects in neural migration and axon outgrowth. Sze, J.Y., Liu, Y., Ruvkun, G. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. The mec-3 gene contains cis-acting elements mediating positive and negative regulation in cells produced by asymmetric cell division in Caenorhabditis elegans. Way, J.C., Wang, L., Run, J.Q., Wang, A. Genes Dev. (1991) [Pubmed]
  6. The C. elegans POU-domain transcription factor UNC-86 regulates the tph-1 tryptophan hydroxylase gene and neurite outgrowth in specific serotonergic neurons. Sze, J.Y., Zhang, S., Li, J., Ruvkun, G. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Activation of the mec-3 promoter in two classes of stereotyped lineages in Caenorhabditis elegans. Wang, L., Way, J.C. Mech. Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. Regulation of anterior cell-specific mec-3 expression during asymmetric cell division in C. elegans. Way, J.C., Run, J.Q., Wang, A.Y. Dev. Dyn. (1992) [Pubmed]
  9. The Caenorhabditis elegans gene ham-2 links Hox patterning to migration of the HSN motor neuron. Baum, P.D., Guenther, C., Frank, C.A., Pham, B.V., Garriga, G. Genes Dev. (1999) [Pubmed]
  10. MBR-1, a novel helix-turn-helix transcription factor, is required for pruning excessive neurites in Caenorhabditis elegans. Kage, E., Hayashi, Y., Takeuchi, H., Hirotsu, T., Kunitomo, H., Inoue, T., Arai, H., Iino, Y., Kubo, T. Curr. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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