Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2011 Nov 1;359(1):47-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.08.014. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

The gap junctional protein INX-14 functions in oocyte precursors to promote C. elegans sperm guidance.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
2
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
3
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
4
Department of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. Electronic address: mamiller@uab.edu.

Abstract

Innexins are the subunits of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we show that the innexin INX-14 promotes sperm guidance to the fertilization site in the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite reproductive tract. inx-14 loss causes cell nonautonomous defects in sperm migration velocity and directional velocity. Results from genetic and immunocytochemical analyses provide strong evidence that INX-14 acts in transcriptionally active oocyte precursors in the distal gonad, not in transcriptionally inactive oocytes that synthesize prostaglandin sperm-attracting cues. Somatic gonadal sheath cell interaction is necessary for INX-14 function, likely via INX-8 and INX-9 expressed in sheath cells. However, electron microscopy has not identified gap junctions in oocyte precursors, suggesting that INX-14 acts in a channel-independent manner or INX-14 channels are difficult to document. INX-14 promotes prostaglandin signaling to sperm at a step after F-series prostaglandin synthesis in oocytes. Taken together, our results support the model that INX-14 functions in a somatic gonad/germ cell signaling mechanism essential for sperm function. We propose that this mechanism regulates the transcription of a factor(s) that modulates prostaglandin metabolism, transport, or activity in the reproductive tract.

PMID:
21889935
PMCID:
PMC3192278
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.08.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center