Linking gene expression in the intestine to production of gametes through the phosphate transporter PITR-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans


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.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences > Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine
Additional Information: Copyright © 2016 Balklava et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Supplemental material is available online at
Uncontrolled Keywords: caenorhabditis elegans,sodium-dependent phosphate transporter,PiT,germline signaling,yolk,phosphate sensing,Genetics
Publication ISSN: 1943-2631
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 08:12
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 12:50
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-09-01
Published Online Date: 2016-07-22
Accepted Date: 2016-07-12
Submitted Date: 2016-02-23
Authors: Balklava, Zita (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-9039-9710)
Rathnakumar, Navin D.
Vashist, Shilpa
Schweinsberg, Peter J.
Grant, Barth D.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record