A sperm cytoskeletal protein that signals oocyte meiotic maturation and ovulation.

Miller MA, Nguyen VQ, Lee MH, Kosinski M, Schedl T, Caprioli RM, Greenstein D
Science. 2001 291 (5511): 2144-7

PMID: 11251118 · DOI:10.1126/science.1057586

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.

MeSH Terms (28)

Amino Acid Sequence Animals Caenorhabditis elegans Carrier Proteins Cytoskeleton Disorders of Sex Development Enzyme Activation Evolution, Molecular Female Gonads Helminth Proteins Male MAP Kinase Signaling System Meiosis Membrane Proteins Microinjections Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases Molecular Sequence Data Oocytes Ovulation Phylogeny Protein Folding Protein Structure, Tertiary Pseudopodia Recombinant Proteins Signal Transduction Spermatozoa Sperm Motility

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