A sperm cytoskeletal protein that signals oocyte meiotic maturation and ovulation

Academic Article


  • Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes, like those of most animals, arrest during meiotic prophase. Sperm promote the resumption of meiosis (maturation) and contraction of smooth muscle-like gonadal sheath cells, which are required for ovulation. We show that the major sperm cytoskeletal protein (MSP) is a bipartite signal for oocyte maturation and sheath contraction. MSP also functions in sperm locomotion, playing a role analogous to actin. Thus, during evolution, MSP has acquired extracellular signaling and intracellular cytoskeletal functions for reproduction. Proteins with MSP-like domains are found in plants, fungi, and other animals, suggesting that related signaling functions may exist in other phyla.
  • Published In

  • Science  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Miller MA; Nguyen VQ; Lee MH; Kosinski M; Schedl T; Caprioli RM; Greenstein D
  • Start Page

  • 2144
  • End Page

  • 2147
  • Volume

  • 291
  • Issue

  • 5511