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 co-transporters have been grouped into three families NaPi-I, NaPi-II, and NaPi-III. Despite being discovered more than 2 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 C. 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.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2016 Balklava et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Supplemental material is available online at www.genetics.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1534/genetics.116.188532/-/DC1.
- caenorhabditis elegans
- sodium-dependent phosphate transporter
- germline signaling
- phosphate sensing