Inorganic phosphate is an essential mineral for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell metabolism and structure. Its uptake into the cell is mediated by membrane-bound transporters and coupled to Na(+) transport. Mammalian sodium-dependent Pi cotransporters have been grouped into three families NaPi-I, NaPi-II, and NaPi-III. Despite being discovered more than two decades ago, very little is known about requirements for NaPi-III transporters in vivo, in the context of intact animal models. Here we find that impaired function of the Caenorhabditis elegans NaPi-III transporter, pitr-1, results in decreased brood size and dramatically increased expression of vitellogenin by the worm intestine. Unexpectedly, we found that the effects of pitr-1 mutation on vitellogenin expression in the intestine could only be rescued by expression of pitr-1 in the germline, and not by expression of pitr-1 in the intestine itself. Our results indicate the existence of a signal from the germline that regulates gene expression in the intestine, perhaps linking nutrient export from the intestine to production of gametes by the germline.
Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; PiT; germline signaling; phosphate sensing; sodium-dependent phosphate transporter; yolk.
Copyright © 2016 Balklava et al.