RRC ID 56211
Author Raiders SA, Eastwood MD, Bacher M, Priess JR.
Title Binucleate germ cells in Caenorhabditis elegans are removed by physiological apoptosis.
Journal PLoS Genet
Abstract Cell death plays a major role during C. elegans oogenesis, where over half of the oogenic germ cells die in a process termed physiological apoptosis. How germ cells are selected for physiological apoptosis, or instead become oocytes, is not understood. Most oocytes produce viable embryos when apoptosis is blocked, suggesting that physiological apoptosis does not function to cull defective germ cells. Instead, cells targeted for apoptosis may function as nurse cells; the germline is syncytial, and all germ cells appear to contribute cytoplasm to developing oocytes. C. elegans has been a leading model for the genetics and molecular biology of apoptosis and phagocytosis, but comparatively few studies have examined the cell biology of apoptotic cells. We used live imaging to identify and examine pre-apoptotic germ cells in the adult gonad. After initiating apoptosis, germ cells selectively export their mitochondria into the shared pool of syncytial cytoplasm; this transport appears to use the microtubule motor kinesin. The apoptotic cells then shrink as they expel most of their remaining cytoplasm, and close off from the syncytium. Shortly thereafter the apoptotic cells restructure their microtubule and actin cytoskeletons, possibly to maintain cell integrity; the microtubules form a novel, cortical array of stabilized microtubules, and actin and cofilin organize into giant cofilin-actin rods. We discovered that some apoptotic germ cells are binucleate; the binucleate germ cells can develop into binucleate oocytes in apoptosis-defective strains, and appear capable of producing triploid offspring. Our results suggest that the nuclear layer of the germline syncytium becomes folded during mitosis and growth, and that binucleate cells arise as the layer unfolds or everts; all of the binucleate cells are subsequently removed by apoptosis. These results show that physiological apoptosis targets at least two distinct populations of germ cells, and that the apoptosis machinery efficiently recognizes cells with two nuclei.
Volume 14(7)
Pages e1007417
Published 2018-7-1
DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007417
PMID 30024879
PMC PMC6053125
MeSH Animals Animals, Genetically Modified Apoptosis / physiology* Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology* Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics Caspases / genetics Cell Nucleus / pathology* Cell Nucleus / physiology Cytoplasm / physiology Female Germ Cells / physiology* Male Microtubules / physiology* Oocytes / physiology Oogenesis / physiology Ovary / cytology Ovary / physiology
IF 5.224
Times Cited 7
C.elegans tm1133 tm1458 tm1966 tm2214