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Loss of SEC-23 in Caenorhabditis elegans Causes Defects in Oogenesis, Morphogenesis, and Extracellular Matrix Secretion

By Brett Roberts, Caroline Clucas and Iain L. Johnstone


SEC-23 is a component of coat protein complex II (COPII)-coated vesicles involved in the endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi transport pathway of eukaryotes. During postembryonic life, Caenorhabditis elegans is surrounded by a collagenous exoskeleton termed the cuticle. From a screen for mutants defective in cuticle secretion, we identified and characterized a sec-23 mutant of C. elegans. By sequence homology, C. elegans has only the single sec-23 gene described herein. In addition to the cuticle secretion defect, mutants fail to complete embryonic morphogenesis. However, they progress through the earlier stages of embryogenesis, including gastrulation, and achieve substantial morphogenesis before death. We demonstrated a maternal component of SEC-23 function sufficient for progression through the earlier stages of embryogenesis and explaining the limited phenotype of the zygotic mutant. By RNA-mediated interference, we investigated the effects of perturbing COPII function during various postembryonic stages. During larval stages, major defects in cuticle synthesis and molting were observed. In the adult hermaphrodite, reduction of SEC-23 function by RNA-mediated interference caused a rapid onset of sterility, with defects in oogenesis including early maturation of the germline nuclei, probably a result of the observed loss of the GLP-1 receptor from the membrane surfaces adjacent to the developing germline nuclei

Topics: Articles
Publisher: The American Society for Cell Biology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1091/mbc.E03-03-0162
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:266761
Provided by: PubMed Central
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