Caenorhabditis elegans FOS-1 and JUN-1 regulate plc-1 expression in the spermatheca to control ovulation

Susan M. Hiatt, Holli M. Duren, Y. John Shyu, Ronald E. Ellis, Naoki Hisamoto, Kunihiro Matsumoto, Ken Ichi Kariya, Tom K. Kerppola, Chang Deng Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Fos and Jun are components of activator protein-1 (AP-1) and play crucial roles in the regulation of many cellular, developmental, and physiological processes. Caenorhabditis elegans fos-1 has been shown to act in uterine and vulval development. Here, we provide evidence that C. elegans fos-1 and jun-1 control ovulation, a tightly regulated rhythmic program in animals. Knockdown of fos-1 or jun-1 blocks dilation of the distal spermathecal valve, a critical step for the entry of mature oocytes into the spermatheca for fertilization. Furthermore, fos-1 and jun-1 regulate the spermathecal-specific expression of plc-1, a gene that encodes a phospholipase C (PLC) isozyme that is rate-limiting for inositol triphosphate production and ovulation, and overexpression of PLC-1 rescues the ovulation defect in fos-1(RNAi) worms. Unlike fos-1, regulation of ovulation by jun-1 requires genetic interactions with eri-1 and lin-15B, which are involved in the RNA interference pathway and chromatin remodeling, respectively. At least two isoforms of jun-1 are coexpressed with fos-1b in the spermatheca, and different AP-1 dimers formed between these isoforms have distinct effects on the activation of a reporter gene. These findings uncover a novel role for FOS-1 and JUN-1 in the reproductive system and establish C. elegans as a model for studying AP-1 dimerization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3888-3895
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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