In Caenorhabditis elegans, Ras/ERK and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways cooperate to induce P12 and vulval cell fates in a Hox-dependent manner. Here we describe eor-1 and eor-2, two new positively acting nuclear components of the Ras and Wnt pathways. eor-1 and eor-2 act downstream or in parallel to ERK and function redundantly with the Mediator complex gene sur-2 and the functionally related gene lin-25, such that removal of both eor-1/eor-2 and sur-2/lin-25 mimics the removal of a main Ras pathway component. Furthermore, the eor-1 and eor-2 mutant backgrounds reveal an essential role for the Elk1-related gene lin-1. eor-1 and eor-2 also act downstream or in parallel to pry-1 Axin and therefore act at the convergence of the Ras and Wnt pathways. eor-1 encodes the ortholog of human PLZF, a BTB/zinc-finger transcription factor that is fused to RARα in acute promyelocytic leukemia. eor-2 encodes a novel protein. EOR-1/PLZF and EOR-2 appear to function closely together and cooperate with Hox genes to promote the expression of Ras- and Wnt-responsive genes. Further studies of eor-1 and eor-2 may provide insight into the roles of PLZF in normal development and leukemogenesis
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