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Gene Review

tbx-38  -  Protein TBX-38

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on T-box

  • Here we report that, through its guanylate kinase domain, CASK interacts with Tbr-1, a T-box transcription factor that is involved in forebrain development [1].
  • We have cloned mls-1 and shown that the product is a member of the T-box family of transcriptional regulators [2].
  • Caenorhabditis elegans mab-9 mutants are defective in hindgut and male tail development because of cell fate transformations in two posterior blast cells, B and F. We have cloned mab-9 and show that it encodes a member of the T-box family of transcriptional regulators [3].
  • We report that the MED-1,2 target gene tbx-35, which encodes a T-box transcription factor, specifies the MS fate [4].
  • Specification of the C. elegans MS blastomere by the T-box factor TBX-35 [4].

Biological context of T-box


Anatomical context of T-box


Regulatory relationships of T-box

  • We further show that vab-7 itself represses the T-box gene mab-9 in posterior cells [6].
  • Here we show the signal includes discrete, trans-acting autosomal signal elements (ASEs) that counter XSEs to coordinately control both sex determination and dosage compensation. sea-1, the first autosomal signal element, encodes a T-box transcription factor that opposes XSEs by activating transcription of xol-1 [11].

Other interactions of T-box

  • 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 [5].
  • In addition, a third T-box gene, tbx-30, acts to repress vab-7 expression in the anterior of embryos [6].
  • A pair of homologous T-box transcription factors (tbx-8 and tbx-9) is found to interact in both C. elegans and C. briggsae, indicating that their compensatory function is conserved [12].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of T-box

  • The human PCR product showed 89% DNA sequence identity and 100% peptide sequence identity to the corresponding T-box segment of Mm-Tbx2 [13].


  1. Nuclear translocation and transcription regulation by the membrane-associated guanylate kinase CASK/LIN-2. Hsueh, Y.P., Wang, T.F., Yang, F.C., Sheng, M. Nature (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. The T-box factor MLS-1 acts as a molecular switch during specification of nonstriated muscle in C. elegans. Kostas, S.A., Fire, A. Genes Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. The caenorhabditis elegans fate-determining gene mab-9 encodes a T-box protein required to pattern the posterior hindgut. Woollard, A., Hodgkin, J. Genes Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Specification of the C. elegans MS blastomere by the T-box factor TBX-35. Broitman-Maduro, G., Lin, K.T., Hung, W.W., Maduro, M.F. Development (2006) [Pubmed]
  5. 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]
  6. A regulatory network of T-box genes and the even-skipped homologue vab-7 controls patterning and morphogenesis in C. elegans. Pocock, R., Ahringer, J., Mitsch, M., Maxwell, S., Woollard, A. Development (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Caenorhabditis elegans T-box genes tbx-9 and tbx-8 are required for formation of hypodermis and body-wall muscle in embryogenesis. Andachi, Y. Genes Cells (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. tbx20, a new vertebrate T-box gene expressed in the cranial motor neurons and developing cardiovascular structures in zebrafish. Ahn, D.G., Ruvinsky, I., Oates, A.C., Silver, L.M., Ho, R.K. Mech. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
  9. The T-box transcription factors TBX-37 and TBX-38 link GLP-1/Notch signaling to mesoderm induction in C. elegans embryos. Good, K., Ciosk, R., Nance, J., Neves, A., Hill, R.J., Priess, J.R. Development (2004) [Pubmed]
  10. The T-box factor TBX-2 and the SUMO conjugating enzyme UBC-9 are required for ABa-derived pharyngeal muscle in C. elegans. Roy Chowdhuri, S., Crum, T., Woollard, A., Aslam, S., Okkema, P.G. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. The T-box transcription factor SEA-1 is an autosomal element of the X:A signal that determines C. elegans sex. Powell, J.R., Jow, M.M., Meyer, B.J. Dev. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
  12. Synthetic lethal analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans posterior embryonic patterning genes identifies conserved genetic interactions. Baugh, L.R., Wen, J.C., Hill, A.A., Slonim, D.K., Brown, E.L., Hunter, C.P. Genome Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  13. Identification, characterization, and localization to chromosome 17q21-22 of the human TBX2 homolog, member of a conserved developmental gene family. Law, D.J., Gebuhr, T., Garvey, N., Agulnik, S.I., Silver, L.M. Mamm. Genome (1995) [Pubmed]
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