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Mol Biol Cell. 2006 Jul;17(7):3085-94. Epub 2006 May 3.

Dynamic regulation of caveolin-1 trafficking in the germ line and embryo of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


Caveolin is the major protein component required for the formation of caveolae on the plasma membrane. Here we show that trafficking of Caenorhabditis elegans caveolin-1 (CAV-1) is dynamically regulated during development of the germ line and embryo. In oocytes a CAV-1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein is found on the plasma membrane and in large vesicles (CAV-1 bodies). After ovulation and fertilization the CAV-1 bodies fuse with the plasma membrane in a manner reminiscent of cortical granule exocytosis as described in other species. Fusion of CAV-1 bodies with the plasma membrane appears to be regulated by the advancing cell cycle, and not fertilization per se, because fusion can proceed in spe-9 fertilization mutants but is blocked by RNA interference-mediated knockdown of an anaphase-promoting complex component (EMB-27). After exocytosis, most CAV-1-GFP is rapidly endocytosed and degraded within one cell cycle. CAV-1 bodies in oocytes appear to be produced by the Golgi apparatus in an ARF-1-dependent, clathrin-independent, mechanism. Conversely endocytosis and degradation of CAV-1-GFP in embryos requires clathrin, dynamin, and RAB-5. Our results demonstrate that the distribution of CAV-1 is highly dynamic during development and provides new insights into the sorting mechanisms that regulate CAV-1 localization.

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