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Involvement of the actin cytoskeleton and homotypic membrane fusion in ER dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans

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Poteryaev,  D
Spang Group, Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Max Planck Society;

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Spang,  A
Spang Group, Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Poteryaev, D., Squirrell, J., Campbell, J., White, J., & Spang, A. (2005). Involvement of the actin cytoskeleton and homotypic membrane fusion in ER dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 16(5), 2139-2153. doi:10.1091/mbc.e04-08-0726.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-B085-8
Abstract
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the major intracellular membrane system. The ER is essential for protein and lipid biosynthesis, transport of proteins along the secretory pathway, and calcium storage. Here, we describe our investigations into the dynamics and regulation of the ER in the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Using a GFP fusion to the ER-resident signal peptidase SP12, we observed the morphological transitions of the ER through fertilization and the early cell-cycles in living embryos. These transitions were tightly coordinated with the division cycle: upon onset of mitosis, the ER formed structured sheets that redispersed at the initiation of cleavage. Although microtubules were not required for the transition of the ER between these different states, the actin cytoskeleton facilitated the dispersal of the ER at the end of mitosis. The ER had an asymmetric distribution in the early embryo, which was dependent on the establishment of polarity by the PAR proteins. The small GTPase ARF-1 played an essential role in the ER dynamics, although this function appeared to be unrelated to the role of ARF-1 in vesicular traffic. In addition, the ER-resident heat shock protein BiP and a homologue of the AAA ATPase Cdc48/p97 were found to be crucial for the ER transitions. Both proteins have been implicated in homotypic ER membrane fusion. We provide evidence that homotypic membrane fusion is required to form the sheet structure in the early embryo.