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Gene Review

dbl-1  -  Protein DBL-1

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of dbl-1

  • Thus, dwarfism mutations studied principally act via adult syncytial growth, with cell size being near normal in both dbl-1 and dpy-2 mutant worms [1].

High impact information on dbl-1

  • C. elegans cDNAs representing 7,584 independent genes were arrayed on a nylon membrane at high density and hybridized with (33)P-labeled DNA probes synthesized from the mRNAs of wild-type, dbl-1, sma-2, and lon-2 worms [2].
  • As dbl-1 is expressed primarily in the nervous system, these results suggest a model in which postembryonic growth of hypodermal cells is regulated by TGFbeta-related signaling from the nervous system to the hypodermis [3].
  • In a mutant of the AbdominalB class Hox gene egl-5, rays that normally express EGL-5 do not adopt dopaminergic fate and cannot be induced to express DA when DBL-1 is provided by a heat-shock-driven dbl-1 transgene [4].
  • Conversely, dbl-1 overexpression causes markedly increased body size and partly complementary male tail phenotypes, indicating that DBL-1 acts as a dose-dependent regulator of these processes [5].
  • lon-1 regulates Caenorhabditis elegans body size downstream of the dbl-1 TGF beta signaling pathway [6].

Biological context of dbl-1

  • We show here that loss-of-function mutations in dbl-1 and lon-1, respectively, cause a decrease or increase in the ploidy of nuclei in the hypodermal syncytial cell, hyp7 [7].
  • Genetic and reporter-gene expression analyses suggest that lon-3 is involved in determination of body shape and is post-transcriptionally regulated by the dbl-1 pathway [8].

Other interactions of dbl-1

  • Taken together, these data identify lon-1 as a novel downstream target gene of the dbl-1 TGF beta-like signaling pathway [6].
  • Null mutations in sma-3 are at least as severe as null mutations in the ligand and type I receptor genes, dbl-1 and sma-6, indicating that the other Smads do not function in the absence of SMA-3 [9].
  • Morphometric analyses indicate that the lon-3 loss-of-function phenotype resembles that caused by overexpression of dbl-1 [7].
  • Furthermore, phenotypes caused by defects in dbl-1 or lon-3 expression are in both cases suppressed by a null mutation in sqt-1, a second cuticle collagen gene [7].
  • We show that kin-29 is epistatic to the ligand dbl-1, and lies upstream of the Sma/Mab pathway target gene, lon-1 [10].


  1. A novel mode of ecdysozoan growth in Caenorhabditis elegans. Knight, C.G., Patel, M.N., Azevedo, R.B., Leroi, A.M. Evol. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Identification of transforming growth factor-beta- regulated genes in caenorhabditis elegans by differential hybridization of arrayed cDNAs. Mochii, M., Yoshida, S., Morita, K., Kohara, Y., Ueno, N. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. The expression of TGFbeta signal transducers in the hypodermis regulates body size in C. elegans. Wang, J., Tokarz, R., Savage-Dunn, C. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  4. Patterning of dopaminergic neurotransmitter identity among Caenorhabditis elegans ray sensory neurons by a TGFbeta family signaling pathway and a Hox gene. Lints, R., Emmons, S.W. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. A BMP homolog acts as a dose-dependent regulator of body size and male tail patterning in Caenorhabditis elegans. Suzuki, Y., Yandell, M.D., Roy, P.J., Krishna, S., Savage-Dunn, C., Ross, R.M., Padgett, R.W., Wood, W.B. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. lon-1 regulates Caenorhabditis elegans body size downstream of the dbl-1 TGF beta signaling pathway. Maduzia, L.L., Gumienny, T.L., Zimmerman, C.M., Wang, H., Shetgiri, P., Krishna, S., Roberts, A.F., Padgett, R.W. Dev. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Increased or decreased levels of Caenorhabditis elegans lon-3, a gene encoding a collagen, cause reciprocal changes in body length. Nyström, J., Shen, Z.Z., Aili, M., Flemming, A.J., Leroi, A., Tuck, S. Genetics (2002) [Pubmed]
  8. A cuticle collagen encoded by the lon-3 gene may be a target of TGF-beta signaling in determining Caenorhabditis elegans body shape. Suzuki, Y., Morris, G.A., Han, M., Wood, W.B. Genetics (2002) [Pubmed]
  9. SMA-3 smad has specific and critical functions in DBL-1/SMA-6 TGFbeta-related signaling. Savage-Dunn, C., Tokarz, R., Wang, H., Cohen, S., Giannikas, C., Padgett, R.W. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. C. elegans serine-threonine kinase KIN-29 modulates TGFbeta signaling and regulates body size formation. Maduzia, L.L., Roberts, A.F., Wang, H., Lin, X., Chin, L.J., Zimmerman, C.M., Cohen, S., Feng, X.H., Padgett, R.W. BMC Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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