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Science. 2001 Mar 16;291(5511):2144-7.

A sperm cytoskeletal protein that signals oocyte meiotic maturation and ovulation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Mass Spectrometry Research Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

Erratum in

  • Science 2001 Apr 6;292(5514):53.
  • Science 2001 Apr 27;292(5517):639.

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes, like those of most animals, arrest during meiotic prophase. Sperm promote the resumption of meiosis (maturation) and contraction of smooth muscle-like gonadal sheath cells, which are required for ovulation. We show that the major sperm cytoskeletal protein (MSP) is a bipartite signal for oocyte maturation and sheath contraction. MSP also functions in sperm locomotion, playing a role analogous to actin. Thus, during evolution, MSP has acquired extracellular signaling and intracellular cytoskeletal functions for reproduction. Proteins with MSP-like domains are found in plants, fungi, and other animals, suggesting that related signaling functions may exist in other phyla.

Comment in

PMID:
11251118
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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