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Gene Review

glp-1  -  Protein GLP-1

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of glp-1

  • Here we analyse an unusual allele of glp-1, glp-1(q35), which displays a semidominant multivulva phenotype (Muv), as well as the typical recessive, loss-of-function Glp phenotypes (sterility and embryonic lethality) [1].

High impact information on glp-1

  • The maternal genes apx-1 and glp-1 and establishment of dorsal-ventral polarity in the early C. elegans embryo [2].
  • By contrast, glp-1 mRNA is present in all blastomeres until the 8-cell stage [3].
  • In one model, we propose that the AC sends an intercellular signal intended to interact with the lin-12 product in somatic gonadal cells; when lin-12 activity is absent, the signal interacts instead with the related glp-1 product in germline [4].
  • The glp-1 and lin-12 genes mediate several cell interactions during C. elegans development [5].
  • Mutations in glp-1 cause germ cells that would normally divide mitotically to enter meiosis [6].

Biological context of glp-1


Anatomical context of glp-1

  • The glp-1 gene functions in two inductive cellular interactions and in development of the embryonic hypodermis of C. elegans [9].
  • In the light of current ideas about the molecular nature of the glp-1 and suppressor gene products, we propose an interaction between the glp-1 protein and components of the extracellular matrix and speculate that this interaction may impose spatial constraints on the decision between mitosis and meiosis in the germline [9].
  • The validity of the method was confirmed through results with control genes whose expression patterns have been reported; glp-1 in very early embryos, myo-2 in pharyngeal muscle and unc-54 in body wall muscle [10].
  • The glp-1 gene is essential for two cell interactions that control cell fate in Caenorhabditis elegans: induction of anterior pharynx in the embryo and induction of mitotic proliferation in the germ line [11].
  • The glp-1 gene mediates a signal that promotes mitosis and the genes of the sex determination pathway mediate a signal that determines if germ cells will develop as sperm or oocytes [12].

Associations of glp-1 with chemical compounds


Physical interactions of glp-1


Regulatory relationships of glp-1

  • Unexpectedly, we find that glp-1 RNA is also expressed in larval somatic tissues and that lin-12 RNA is abundant in early embryos [5].

Other interactions of glp-1

  • Genetic studies indicate that the lin-12 and glp-1 proteins act as receptors in specific developmental cell interactions and that their functions are partially redundant. lin-12 glp-1 double mutants display certain embryonic defects not found in either single mutant [15].
  • ABa and ABp, the other two sisters in a 4-cell embryo, are influenced to develop differently by cell signaling events that require the two genes apx-1 and glp-1 [16].
  • In the absence of tbx-2 function, ABa-derived cells initiate development normally: they receive glp-1/Notch signaling cues, activate the T-box gene TBX-38 and express the organ selector gene PHA-4/FoxA [17].
  • TBX-2 is expressed in ABa descendants and depends on activation by pha-4 and repression by components of glp-1/Notch signaling [17].
  • The Caenorhabditis elegans sel-1 gene, a negative regulator of lin-12 and glp-1, encodes a predicted extracellular protein [18].


  1. Carboxy-terminal truncation activates glp-1 protein to specify vulval fates in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mango, S.E., Maine, E.M., Kimble, J. Nature (1991) [Pubmed]
  2. The maternal genes apx-1 and glp-1 and establishment of dorsal-ventral polarity in the early C. elegans embryo. Mello, C.C., Draper, B.W., Priess, J.R. Cell (1994) [Pubmed]
  3. Translational control of maternal glp-1 mRNA establishes an asymmetry in the C. elegans embryo. Evans, T.C., Crittenden, S.L., Kodoyianni, V., Kimble, J. Cell (1994) [Pubmed]
  4. Cell-cell interactions prevent a potential inductive interaction between soma and germline in C. elegans. Seydoux, G., Schedl, T., Greenwald, I. Cell (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. Transcript analysis of glp-1 and lin-12, homologous genes required for cell interactions during development of C. elegans. Austin, J., Kimble, J. Cell (1989) [Pubmed]
  6. glp-1 is required in the germ line for regulation of the decision between mitosis and meiosis in C. elegans. Austin, J., Kimble, J. Cell (1987) [Pubmed]
  7. fog-1, a regulatory gene required for specification of spermatogenesis in the germ line of Caenorhabditis elegans. Barton, M.K., Kimble, J. Genetics (1990) [Pubmed]
  8. Genetic control of cellular interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans development. Kimble, J., Austin, J. Ciba Found. Symp. (1989) [Pubmed]
  9. Identification of genes that interact with glp-1, a gene required for inductive cell interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans. Maine, E.M., Kimble, J. Development (1989) [Pubmed]
  10. A multi-well version of in situ hybridization on whole mount embryos of Caenorhabditis elegans. Tabara, H., Motohashi, T., Kohara, Y. Nucleic Acids Res. (1996) [Pubmed]
  11. Suppressors of glp-1, a gene required for cell communication during development in Caenorhabditis elegans, define a set of interacting genes. Maine, E.M., Kimble, J. Genetics (1993) [Pubmed]
  12. Control of germ cell differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Ellis, R.E., Kimble, J. Ciba Found. Symp. (1994) [Pubmed]
  13. SEL-8, a nuclear protein required for LIN-12 and GLP-1 signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans. Doyle, T.G., Wen, C., Greenwald, I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
  14. Suppressors of a lin-12 hypomorph define genes that interact with both lin-12 and glp-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Sundaram, M., Greenwald, I. Genetics (1993) [Pubmed]
  15. Sequence of C. elegans lag-2 reveals a cell-signalling domain shared with Delta and Serrate of Drosophila. Tax, F.E., Yeargers, J.J., Thomas, J.H. Nature (1994) [Pubmed]
  16. Determinants of blastomere identity in the early C. elegans embryo. Bowerman, B. Bioessays (1995) [Pubmed]
  17. Role of T-box gene tbx-2 for anterior foregut muscle development in C. elegans. Smith, P.A., Mango, S.E. Dev. Biol. (2007) [Pubmed]
  18. The Caenorhabditis elegans sel-1 gene, a negative regulator of lin-12 and glp-1, encodes a predicted extracellular protein. Grant, B., Greenwald, I. Genetics (1996) [Pubmed]
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