Investigating the Role of RIO Protein Kinases in Caenorhabditis elegans
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RIO protein kinases (RIOKs) are a relatively conserved family of enzymes implicated in cell cycle control and ribosomal RNA processing. Despite their functional importance, they remain a poorly understood group of kinases in multicellular organisms. Here, we show that the C. elegans genome contains one member of each of the three RIOK sub-families and that each of the genes coding for them has a unique tissue expression pattern. Our analysis showed that the gene encoding RIOK-1 (riok-1) was broadly and strongly expressed. Interestingly, the intestinal expression of riok-1 was dependent upon two putative binding sites for the oxidative and xenobiotic stress response transcription factor SKN-1. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knock down of riok-1 resulted in germline defects, including defects in germ line stem cell proliferation, oocyte maturation and the production of endomitotic oocytes. Taken together, our findings indicate new functions for RIOK-1 in post mitotic tissues and in reproduction.
© 2015 Mendes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.