MPK-1 ERK Controls Membrane Organization in C. elegans Oogenesis via a Sex-Determination Module

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Arur, Swathi ; Ohmachi, Mitsue ; Berkseth, Matt ; Nayak, Sudhir ; Hansen, David ; Zarkower, David ; Schedl, Tim (2011)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
  • Journal: Developmental Cell, volume 20, issue 5, pages 677-688 (issn: 1534-5807)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.04.009
  • Subject: Developmental Biology | Article

Tissues that generate specialized cell-types in a production line must coordinate developmental mechanisms with physiological demand, although how this occurs is largely unknown. In the C. elegans hermaphrodite, the developmental sex-determination cascade specifies gamete sex in the distal germline, while physiological sperm signaling activates MPK-1/ERK in the proximal germline to control plasma membrane biogenesis/organization during oogenesis. We discovered repeated utilization of a self-contained negative regulatory module, consisting of NOS-3 translational repressor, FEM-CUL-2 (E3 ubiquitin ligase) and TRA-1 (Gli transcriptional repressor), which acts both in sex-determination and in physiological demand control of oogenesis, coordinating these processes. In the distal germline, where MPK-1 is not activated, TRA-1 represses the male fate as NOS-3 functions in translational repression leading to inactivation of the FEM-CUL-2 ubiquitin ligase. In the proximal germline, sperm-dependent physiological MPK-1 activation results in phosphorylation-based inactivation of NOS-3, FEM-CUL-2 mediated degradation of TRA-1 and the promotion of membrane organization during oogenesis.
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