A sperm cytoskeletal protein that signals oocyte meiotic maturation and ovulation

M. A. Miller, V. Q. Nguyen, M. H. Lee, M. Kosinski, T. Schedl, R. M. Caprioli, D. Greenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

265 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2144-2147
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume291
Issue number5511
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2001

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