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      Two distinct myosin II populations coordinate ovulatory contraction of the myoepithelial sheath in the Caenorhabditis elegans somatic gonad

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      Molecular Biology of the Cell
      The American Society for Cell Biology

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          Abstract

          In the nematode somatic gonad, nonmuscle myosin and muscle myosin form distinct filaments and coordinate ovulatory contraction of the myoepithelial sheath. Nonmuscle myosin regulatory light chain is phosphoregulated, and its phosphorylation and dephosphorylation are critical for successful ovulation.

          Abstract

          The myoepithelial sheath in the somatic gonad of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has nonstriated contractile actomyosin networks that produce highly coordinated contractility for ovulation of mature oocytes. Two myosin heavy chains are expressed in the myoepithelial sheath, which are also expressed in the body-wall striated muscle. The troponin/tropomyosin system is also present and essential for ovulation. Therefore, although the myoepithelial sheath has smooth muscle–like contractile apparatuses, it has a striated muscle–like regulatory mechanism through troponin/tropomyosin. Here we report that the myoepithelial sheath has a distinct myosin population containing nonmuscle myosin II isoforms, which is regulated by phosphorylation and essential for ovulation. MLC-4, a nonmuscle myosin regulatory light chain, localizes to small punctate structures and does not colocalize with large, needle-like myosin filaments containing MYO-3, a striated-muscle myosin isoform. RNA interference of MLC-4, as well as of its upstream regulators, LET-502 (Rho-associated coiled-coil forming kinase) and MEL-11 (a myosin-binding subunit of myosin phosphatase), impairs ovulation. Expression of a phosphomimetic MLC-4 mutant mimicking a constitutively active state also impairs ovulation. A striated-muscle myosin (UNC-54) appears to provide partially compensatory contractility. Thus the results indicate that the two spatially distinct myosin II populations coordinately regulate ovulatory contraction of the myoepithelial sheath.

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          Most cited references52

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          Ingestion of bacterially expressed dsRNAs can produce specific and potent genetic interference in Caenorhabditis elegans.

          Genetic interference mediated by double-stranded RNA (RNAi) has been a valuable tool in the analysis of gene function in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we report an efficient induction of RNAi using bacteria to deliver double-stranded RNA. This method makes use of bacteria that are deficient in RNaseIII, an enzyme that normally degrades a majority of dsRNAs in the bacterial cell. Bacteria deficient for RNaseIII were engineered to produce high quantities of specific dsRNA segments. When fed to C. elegans, such engineered bacteria were found to produce populations of RNAi-affected animals with phenotypes that were comparable in expressivity to the corresponding loss-of-function mutants. We found the method to be most effective in inducing RNAi for non-neuronal tissue of late larval and adult hermaphrodites, with decreased effectiveness in the nervous system, in early larval stages, and in males. Bacteria-induced RNAi phenotypes could be maintained over the course of several generations with continuous feeding, allowing for convenient assessments of the biological consequences of specific genetic interference and of continuous exposure to dsRNAs.
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            Ca2+ sensitivity of smooth muscle and nonmuscle myosin II: modulated by G proteins, kinases, and myosin phosphatase.

            Ca2+ sensitivity of smooth muscle and nonmuscle myosin II reflects the ratio of activities of myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK) to myosin light-chain phosphatase (MLCP) and is a major, regulated determinant of numerous cellular processes. We conclude that the majority of phenotypes attributed to the monomeric G protein RhoA and mediated by its effector, Rho-kinase (ROK), reflect Ca2+ sensitization: inhibition of myosin II dephosphorylation in the presence of basal (Ca2+ dependent or independent) or increased MLCK activity. We outline the pathway from receptors through trimeric G proteins (Galphaq, Galpha12, Galpha13) to activation, by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), from GDP. RhoA. GDI to GTP. RhoA and hence to ROK through a mechanism involving association of GEF, RhoA, and ROK in multimolecular complexes at the lipid cell membrane. Specific domains of GEFs interact with trimeric G proteins, and some GEFs are activated by Tyr kinases whose inhibition can inhibit Rho signaling. Inhibition of MLCP, directly by ROK or by phosphorylation of the phosphatase inhibitor CPI-17, increases phosphorylation of the myosin II regulatory light chain and thus the activity of smooth muscle and nonmuscle actomyosin ATPase and motility. We summarize relevant effects of p21-activated kinase, LIM-kinase, and focal adhesion kinase. Mechanisms of Ca2+ desensitization are outlined with emphasis on the antagonism between cGMP-activated kinase and the RhoA/ROK pathway. We suggest that the RhoA/ROK pathway is constitutively active in a number of organs under physiological conditions; its aberrations play major roles in several disease states, particularly impacting on Ca2+ sensitization of smooth muscle in hypertension and possibly asthma and on cancer neoangiogenesis and cancer progression. It is a potentially important therapeutic target and a subject for translational research.
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              Phosphorylation and activation of myosin by Rho-associated kinase (Rho-kinase).

              The small GTPase Rho is implicated in physiological functions associated with actin-myosin filaments such as cytokinesis, cell motility, and smooth muscle contraction. We have recently identified and molecularly cloned Rho-associated serine/threonine kinase (Rho-kinase), which is activated by GTP Rho (Matsui, T., Amano, M., Yamamoto, T., Chihara, K., Nakafuku, M., Ito, M., Nakano, T., Okawa, K., Iwamatsu, A., and Kaibuchi, K. (1996) EMBO J. 15, 2208-2216). Here we found that Rho-kinase stoichiometrically phosphorylated myosin light chain (MLC). Peptide mapping and phosphoamino acid analyses revealed that the primary phosphorylation site of MLC by Rho-kinase was Ser-19, which is the site phosphorylated by MLC kinase. Rho-kinase phosphorylated recombinant MLC, whereas it failed to phosphorylate recombinant MLC, which contained Ala substituted for both Thr-18 and Ser-19. We also found that the phosphorylation of MLC by Rho-kinase resulted in the facilitation of the actin activation of myosin ATPase. Thus, it is likely that once Rho is activated, then it can interact with Rho-kinase and activate it. The activated Rho-kinase subsequently phosphorylates MLC. This may partly account for the mechanism by which Rho regulates cytokinesis, cell motility, or smooth muscle contraction.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Monitoring Editor
                Journal
                Mol Biol Cell
                Mol. Biol. Cell
                molbiolcell
                mbc
                Mol. Bio. Cell
                Molecular Biology of the Cell
                The American Society for Cell Biology
                1059-1524
                1939-4586
                01 April 2016
                : 27
                : 7
                : 1131-1142
                Affiliations
                [1]Department of Pathology and Department of Cell Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322
                University of Wisconsin
                Author notes
                *Address correspondence to: Shoichiro Ono ( sono@ 123456emory.edu ).
                Article
                E15-09-0648
                10.1091/mbc.E15-09-0648
                4814220
                26864628
                b43c871d-e17a-40ee-bde7-d7279f38f9a9
                © 2016 Ono and Ono. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

                “ASCB®,” “The American Society for Cell Biology®,” and “Molecular Biology of the Cell®” are registered trademarks of The American Society for Cell Biology.

                History
                : 11 September 2015
                : 05 February 2016
                : 05 February 2016
                Categories
                Articles
                Cytoskeleton

                Molecular biology
                Molecular biology

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