Characterization of a potential gene interaction between spr-5, met-2, and mep-1 in determining germline versus soma in C. elegans

In C. elegans, epigenetic modifier proteins aid in the activation and repression of gene expression that is required to distinguish germline from soma. Here we explore the possibility that the early actions of SPR-5 and MET-2 are reinforced in the embryo (until a germline is formed) by coordinating with other transcriptional regulators such as MEP-1. Our data show, a developmental delay in spr-5; met-2; mep-1 mutants is more severe than in spr-5; met-2 mutants. We show, gene misexpression in spr-5; met-2; mep-1 mutants is further amplified when compared to spr-5; met-2 mutants at the same gene loci. Moreover, spr-5; met-2; mep-1 mutants exhibit differentially expressed genes specifically enriched in germline targets. Collectively our data support a conclusion that MEP-1 collaborates with SPR-5 and MET-2 to suppress inappropriate germline gene expression in the soma.