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Gene Review

daf-3  -  Protein DAF-3

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on daf-3

  • Null mutations in daf-3 suppress mutations in genes encoding this TGF-beta signal, its receptors, and associated Smad signal transduction proteins. daf-3 encodes a Smad protein that is most closely related to mammalian DPC4, and is expressed throughout development in many of the tissues that are remodeled during dauer development [1].
  • We have studied the daf-5 gene, which, along with the daf-3 Smad gene, is antagonized by upstream receptors and receptor-regulated Smads [2].
  • The Daf-c phenotype was suppressed by daf-7 cDNA expression or a daf-3 null mutation [3].
  • To determine how daf-3 affects C subelement enhancer activity in vivo, we examined expression a gfp reporter controlled by a concatenated C subelement oligonucleotide in daf-3 mutants and other mutants affecting the TGFbeta-like signaling pathway controlling dauer formation [4].
  • These results suggest daf-3 directly regulates pharyngeal gene expression during non-dauer development [4].

Biological context of daf-3

  • Our results demonstrate that wild-type daf-3 can repress C subelement enhancer activity during larval development and, like its dauer-promoting activity, daf-3's repressor activity is negatively regulated by TGFbeta-like signaling [4].

Other interactions of daf-3

  • Three complementation groups correspond to the previously described genes daf-3, daf-5, and daf-12 [5].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of daf-3

  • Mutation of any base in the sequence GTCTG interfered with binding in the gel mobility shift assay, demonstrating that this pentanucleotide is a core recognition sequence for DAF-3 binding. daf-3 is known to promote formation of dauer larvae and this activity is negatively regulated by TGFbeta-like signaling [4].


  1. The DAF-3 Smad protein antagonizes TGF-beta-related receptor signaling in the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer pathway. Patterson, G.I., Koweek, A., Wong, A., Liu, Y., Ruvkun, G. Genes Dev. (1997) [Pubmed]
  2. DAF-5 is a Ski oncoprotein homolog that functions in a neuronal TGF beta pathway to regulate C. elegans dauer development. da Graca, L.S., Zimmerman, K.K., Mitchell, M.C., Kozhan-Gorodetska, M., Sekiewicz, K., Morales, Y., Patterson, G.I. Development (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Control of DAF-7 TGF-(alpha) expression and neuronal process development by a receptor tyrosine kinase KIN-8 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Koga, M., Take-uchi, M., Tameishi, T., Ohshima, Y. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  4. The DAF-3 Smad binds DNA and represses gene expression in the Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx. Thatcher, J.D., Haun, C., Okkema, P.G. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Suppressors of transforming growth factor-beta pathway mutants in the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer formation pathway. Inoue, T., Thomas, J.H. Genetics (2000) [Pubmed]
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