The octopamine receptor OAMB mediates ovulation via Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in the Drosophila oviduct epithelium

PLoS One. 2009;4(3):e4716. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004716. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Abstract

Ovulation is an essential physiological process in sexual reproduction; however, the underlying cellular mechanisms are poorly understood. We have previously shown that OAMB, a Drosophila G-protein-coupled receptor for octopamine (the insect counterpart of mammalian norepinephrine), is required for ovulation induced upon mating. OAMB is expressed in the nervous and reproductive systems and has two isoforms (OAMB-AS and OAMB-K3) with distinct capacities to increase intracellular Ca2+ or intracellular Ca2+ and cAMP in vitro. Here, we investigated tissue specificity and intracellular signals required for OAMB's function in ovulation. Restricted OAMB expression in the adult oviduct epithelium, but not the nervous system, reinstated ovulation in oamb mutant females, in which either OAMB isoform was sufficient for the rescue. Consistently, strong immunoreactivities for both isoforms were observed in the wild-type oviduct epithelium. To delineate the cellular mechanism by which OAMB regulates ovulation, we explored protein kinases functionally interacting with OAMB by employing a new GAL4 driver with restricted expression in the oviduct epithelium. Conditional inhibition of Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), but not protein kinase A or C, in the oviduct epithelium inhibited ovulation. Moreover, constitutively active CaMKII, but not protein kinase A, expressed only in the adult oviduct epithelium fully rescued the oamb female's phenotype, demonstrating CaMKII as a major downstream molecule conveying the OAMB's ovulation signal. This is consistent with the ability of both OAMB isoforms, whose common intracellular signal in vitro is Ca2+, to reinstate ovulation in oamb females. These observations reveal the critical roles of the oviduct epithelium and its cellular components OAMB and CaMKII in ovulation. It is conceivable that the OAMB-mediated cellular activities stimulated upon mating are crucial for secretory activities suitable for egg transfer from the ovary to the uterus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / physiology*
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Epithelium / physiology*
  • Female
  • Octopamine
  • Oviducts / cytology*
  • Ovulation*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal
  • Tissue Distribution

Substances

  • Drosophila Proteins
  • OAMB protein, Drosophila
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Octopamine
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • Calcium