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Sci Rep 2019 Oct 10;91:14652. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51224-7.
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Discovery of a receptor guanylate cyclase expressed in the sperm flagella of stony corals.

Zhang Y , Chiu YL , Chen CJ , Ho YY , Shinzato C , Shikina S , Chang CF .

The receptor guanylate cyclases (rGCs) in animals serve as sensitive chemoreceptors to detect both chemical and environmental cues. In reproduction, rGCs were shown to be expressed on sperm and serve as receptors for egg-derived sperm-activating and sperm-attracting factors in some echinoderms and mammals. However, sperm-associated rGCs have only been identified in some deuterostomes thus far, and it remains unclear how widely rGCs are utilized in metazoan reproduction. To address this issue, this study investigated the existence and expression of rGCs, particularly asking if rGCs are involved in the reproduction of a basal metazoan, phylum Cnidaria, using the stony coral Euphyllia ancora. Six paralogous rGCs were identified from a transcriptome database of E. ancora, and one of the rGCs, GC-A, was shown to be specifically expressed in the testis. Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that E. ancora GC-A protein was expressed in the spermatocytes and spermatids and eventually congregated on the sperm flagella during spermatogenesis. These findings suggest that GC-A may be involved in the regulation of sperm activity and/or functions (e.g., fertilization) in corals. This study is the first to perform molecular characterization of rGCs in cnidarians and provides evidence for the possible involvement of rGCs in the reproduction of basal metazoans.

PubMed ID: 31601940
PMC ID: PMC6787079
Article link: Sci Rep

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References [+] :
Albalat, Evolution by gene loss. 2016, Pubmed