Sperm-guiding unconventional prostaglandins in C. Elegans: Synthesis and signaling

Academic Article


  • Prostaglandins comprise a family of lipid signaling molecules derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids and are involved in a wide array of biological processes, including fertilization. Prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (a.k.a. cyclooxygenase or Cox) initiates prostaglandin synthesis from 20-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid. Oocytes of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) have been shown to secrete sperm-guidance cues prostaglandins, independent of Cox enzymes. Both prostaglandin synthesis and signal transduction in C. elegans are environ-mentally modulated pathways that regulate sperm guidance to the fertilization site. Environmental factors such as food triggers insulin and TGF-β secretion and their levels regulate tissue-specific prostaglandin synthesis in C. elegans. This novel PG pathway is abundant in mouse and human ovarian follicular fluid, where their functions, mechanism of synthesis and pathways remain to be es-tablished. Given the importance of prostaglandins in reproductive processes, a better understanding of how diets and other environmental factors influence their synthesis and function may lead to new strategies towards improving fertility in mammals.
  • Published In

  • Metabolites  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tiwary E; Hu M; Prasain JK
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 12