A deubiquitinating enzyme, UCH/CeUBP130, has an essential role in the formation of a functional microtubule-organizing centre (MTOC) during early cleavage in C. elegans

Genes Cells. 2001 Oct;6(10):899-911. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2443.2001.00471.x.


Background: Deubiquitinating enzymes generate monomeric ubiquitin in protein degradation pathways and are known to be important for the early development in many organisms.

Results: RNA interference experiments targeted for a UBP homologue, UCH/CeUBP130, in C. elegans resulted in cell division defective embryos. Immunostaining localized UCH/CeUBP130 in the sperm and at the microtubule-organizing centre (MTOC) during early cleavage. Furthermore, the embryonic lethal phenotype was rescued by mating with wild-type males.

Conclusions: Since it is known that the MTOC in the fertilized embryo is contributed by sperm asters in C. elegans, we suggest that UCH/CeUBP130 and ubiquitin protein degradation pathways may be involved in microtubule-based sperm aster formation. Therefore UCH/CeUBP130 is necessary for the formation of a functional MTOC in the fertilized embryo of C. elegans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Endopeptidases / genetics*
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Fetal Death / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Male
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Spermatozoa / physiology


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Endopeptidases
  • UBP130 protein, C elegans