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Gene Review

fem-1  -  Protein FEM-1

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of fem-1

  • Mutations in fem-3 resemble alleles of fem-1 (previously characterized): putative null alleles result in complete feminization of XX and XO animals, transforming them into fertile females [1].

High impact information on fem-1

  • Clones carrying a 5.5 kb fragment are able to rescue the progeny of a fem-1 mutant when injected into its oocytes [2].
  • The product of fem-1, a nematode sex-determining gene, contains a motif found in cell cycle control proteins and receptors for cell-cell interactions [2].
  • The major fem-1 transcript in both sexes is 2.4 kb and comprises 11 exons [2].
  • Male sexual development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires the genes fem-1, fem-2, and fem-3 [3].
  • To this extent, Fem1c(R3/R3) mice show no adverse effects in their sexual development or fertility or in the attenuation of neuronal cell death, another function that has been attributed to both fem-1 and a second mouse homolog, Fem1b [4].

Biological context of fem-1


Other interactions of fem-1

  • A double mutant harboring ts alleles of both fem-1 (formerly named isx-1; G. A. Nelson, K. K. Lew, and S. Ward, 1978, Dev. Biol. 66, 386-409) and fem-2 causes transformation of XO animals (normally male) into spermless hermaphrodites at restrictive temperature [8].


  1. Sex determination in the nematode C. elegans: analysis of tra-3 suppressors and characterization of fem genes. Hodgkin, J. Genetics (1986) [Pubmed]
  2. The product of fem-1, a nematode sex-determining gene, contains a motif found in cell cycle control proteins and receptors for cell-cell interactions. Spence, A.M., Coulson, A., Hodgkin, J. Cell (1990) [Pubmed]
  3. Caenorhabditis elegans sex-determining protein FEM-2 is a protein phosphatase that promotes male development and interacts directly with FEM-3. Chin-Sang, I.D., Spence, A.M. Genes Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Insertion of the beta Geo promoter trap into the Fem1c gene of ROSA3 mice. Schlamp, C.L., Thliveris, A.T., Li, Y., Kohl, L.P., Knop, C., Dietz, J.A., Larsen, I.V., Imesch, P., Pinto, L.H., Nickells, R.W. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. Post-transcriptional regulation of sex determination in Caenorhabditis elegans: widespread expression of the sex-determining gene fem-1 in both sexes. Gaudet, J., VanderElst, I., Spence, A.M. Mol. Biol. Cell (1996) [Pubmed]
  6. Use of a psoralen-induced phenocopy to study genes controlling spermatogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Edgar, L.G., Hirsh, D. Dev. Biol. (1985) [Pubmed]
  7. F1Aalpha, a death receptor-binding protein homologous to the Caenorhabditis elegans sex-determining protein, FEM-1, is a caspase substrate that mediates apoptosis. Chan, S.L., Tan, K.O., Zhang, L., Yee, K.S., Ronca, F., Chan, M.Y., Yu, V.C. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  8. Specification of male development in Caenorhabditis elegans: the fem genes. Kimble, J., Edgar, L., Hirsh, D. Dev. Biol. (1984) [Pubmed]
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