PUF family translational repressors are conserved developmental regulators, but the molecular function provided by the regions flanking the PUF RNA-binding domain is unknown. In C. elegans, the PUF proteins FBF-1 and FBF-2 support germline progenitor maintenance by repressing production of meiotic proteins and use distinct mechanisms to repress their target mRNAs. We identify dynein light chain DLC-1 as an important regulator of FBF-2 function. DLC-1 directly binds to FBF-2 outside of the RNA-binding domain and promotes FBF-2 localization and function. By contrast, DLC-1 does not interact with FBF-1 and does not contribute to FBF-1 activity. Surprisingly, we find that the contribution of DLC-1 to FBF-2 activity is independent of the dynein motor. Our findings suggest that PUF protein localization and activity are mediated by sequences flanking the RNA-binding domain that bind specific molecular partners. Furthermore, these results identify a new role for DLC-1 in posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression.
- LC8 family proteins
- Post-transcriptional regulation
- RNA-binding protein
- Stem cells