Characterization of the Doublesex/MAB-3 transcription factor DMD-9 in Caenorhabditis elegans

Rasoul Godini, Roger Pocock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


DMD-9 is a Caenorhabditis elegans Doublesex/MAB-3 Domain transcription factor (TF) of unknown function. Single-cell transcriptomics has revealed that dmd-9 is highly expressed in specific head sensory neurons, with lower levels detected in non-neuronal tissues (uterine cells and sperm). Here, we characterized endogenous dmd-9 expression and function in hermaphrodites and males to identify potential sexually dimorphic roles. In addition, we dissected the trans- and cis-regulatory mechanisms that control DMD-9 expression in neurons. Our results show that of the 22 neuronal cell fate reporters we assessed in DMD-9-expressing neurons, only the neuropeptide-encoding flp-19 gene is cell-autonomously regulated by DMD-9. Further, we did not identify defects in behaviors mediated by DMD-9 expressing neurons in dmd-9 mutants. We found that dmd-9 expression in neurons is regulated by 4 neuronal fate regulatory TFs: ETS-5, EGL-13, CHE-1, and TTX-1. In conclusion, our study characterized the DMD-9 expression pattern and regulatory logic for its control. The lack of detectable phenotypes in dmd-9 mutant animals suggests that other proteins compensate for its loss.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjkac305
Number of pages12
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2023


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • behavioral analysis
  • expression analysis
  • neurobiology
  • transcription factor

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