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Author Notes:

Corresponding author.: bioslh@emory.edu

S.Z. carried out all immunofluorescence experiments.

All experiments were conducted in the laboratory of A.W.S. Peptides for antibody production were determined by A.W.S. while working as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of S.W.L.

Antibodies were also obtained by A.W.S. while working as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of S.W.L.

The manuscript was written by A.W.S.

We would like to thank Kim McKim, Chris Rongo and Andrea Dean for critical comments on the manuscript.

We thank members of the Singson lab for assistance with figures, helpful discussions and comments.


Research Funding:

The Caenorhabditis Genetic Center provided some nematode strains, and it is funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).

Grants to A.W.S. were from the National Institutes of Health (R01 GM63089-01), the National Science Foundation (IBN-0000182), and the Charles & Johanna Busch Biomedical Fund.

A grant to S.W.L. was from the National Science Foundation (IBN-9631102).

Dynamic localization of SPE-9 in sperm: a protein required for sperm-oocyte interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans


Journal Title:

BMC Developmental Biology


Volume 3, Number 10


Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background Fertilization in Caenorhabditis elegans requires functional SPE-9 protein in sperm. SPE-9 is a transmembrane protein with a predicted extracellular domain that contains ten epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like motifs. The presence of these EGF-like motifs suggests that SPE-9 is likely to function in gamete adhesive and/or ligand-receptor interactions. Results We obtained specific antisera directed against different regions of SPE-9 in order to determine its subcellular localization. SPE-9 is segregated to spermatids with a pattern that is consistent with localization to the plasma membrane. During spermiogenesis, SPE-9 becomes localized to spiky projections that coalesce to form a pseudopod. This leads to an accumulation of SPE-9 on the pseudopod of mature sperm. Conclusions The wild type localization patterns of SPE-9 provide further evidence that like the sperm of other species, C. elegans sperm have molecularly mosaic and dynamic regions. SPE-9 is redistributed by what is likely to be a novel mechanism that is very fast (~5 minutes) and is coincident with dramatic rearrangements in the major sperm protein cytoskeleton. We conclude that SPE-9 ends up in a location on mature sperm where it can function during fertilization and this localization defines the sperm region required for these interactions.

Copyright information:

© 2003 Zannoni et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.

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