P granules in the germ cells of Caenorhabditis elegans adults are associated with clusters of nuclear pores and contain RNA

Jason N. Pitt, Jennifer A. Schisa, James R. Priess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations

Abstract

The germ cells, and germ cell precursors, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans contain distinctive granules called P granules. During early embryogenesis, P granules are segregated asymmetrically into those blastomeres that eventually produce the germ line. Because of the correlation between P granule distribution and the development of the germ line, P granules are widely thought to function in some aspect of germ line specification or differentiation. Most of the analysis of P granule structure and localization has focused on the early embryo, when P granules are located in the cytoplasm. However, during most of development P granules are associated with germ cell nuclei. We report here an ultrastructural analysis of the nuclear-associated P granules in the germ cells of the adult hermaphrodite gonad. We show that P granules are tightly associated with nuclear pores and that the positions of certain structures within the P granules correspond to the positions of pores on the nuclear envelope. We present immunocytochemical and ultrastructural data suggesting that P granules can associate, or remain associated, with pore-like structures even after they detach from the nuclear envelope during oogenesis. Finally, we show that nuclear-associated P granules in the gonad contain RNA, complementing previous studies showing that cytoplasmic P granules in embryos contain RNA. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-333
Number of pages19
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume219
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Annulate lamellae
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Germ cells
  • Germ line
  • Germ line granules
  • Germ plasm
  • Nematode
  • Nuclear pore
  • Oogenesis
  • P granule

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'P granules in the germ cells of Caenorhabditis elegans adults are associated with clusters of nuclear pores and contain RNA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this