Mechanisms of TGFß in prostaglandin synthesis and sperm guidance in Caenorhabditis elegans

Academic Article


  • Background: The transparent epidermis of Caenorhabditis elegans makes it an attractive model to study sperm motility and migration within an intact reproductive tract. C elegans synthesize specific F-series prostaglandins (PGFs) that are important for guiding sperm toward the spermatheca. These PGFs are synthesized from polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) precursors, such as arachidonic acid (AA), via a novel pathway, independent of the classical cyclooxygenases (Cox) responsible for most PG synthesis. While the enzyme(s) responsible for PG synthesis has yet to be identified, the DAF-7 TGFß pathway has been implicated in modulating PG levels and sperm guidance. Results: We find that the reduced PGF levels in daf-1 type I receptor mutants are responsible for the sperm guidance defect. The lower level of PGs in daf-1 mutants is due in part to the inaccessibility of AA. Finally, lipid analysis and assessment of sperm guidance in daf-1;daf-3 double mutants suggest DAF-3 suppresses PG production and sperm accumulation at the spermatheca. Our data suggest that DAF-3 functions in the nervous system, and possibly the germline, to affect sperm guidance. Conclusion: The C elegans TGFß pathway regulates many pathways to modulate PG metabolism and sperm guidance. These pathways likely function in the nervous system and possibly the germline.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hu M; Tiwary E; Prasain JK; Miller M; Serra R
  • Start Page

  • 932
  • End Page

  • 942
  • Volume

  • 250
  • Issue

  • 7