DAF-2 and ERK Couple Nutrient Availability to Meiotic Progression during Caenorhabditis elegans Oogenesis

Department of Genetics, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Developmental Cell (Impact Factor: 9.71). 10/2013; 27(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.09.008
Source: PubMed


Coupling the production of mature gametes and fertilized zygotes to favorable nutritional conditions improves reproductive success. In invertebrates, the proliferation of female germline stem cells is regulated by nutritional status. However, in mammals, the number of female germline stem cells is set early in development, with oocytes progressing through meiosis later in life. Mechanisms that couple later steps of oogenesis to environmental conditions remain largely undefined. We show that, in the presence of food, the DAF-2 insulin-like receptor signals through the RAS-ERK pathway to drive meiotic prophase I progression and oogenesis; in the absence of food, the resultant inactivation of insulin-like signaling leads to downregulation of the RAS-ERK pathway, and oogenesis is stalled. Thus, the insulin-like signaling pathway couples nutrient sensing to meiotic I progression and oocyte production in C. elegans, ensuring that oocytes are only produced under conditions favorable for the survival of the resulting zygotes.

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