Get access

Cytoplasmic and nuclear localization of cadherin in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) gonads

Authors

  • Mônica M Florecki,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular e Bioagentes Patognicos, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeiro Preto, Universidade de So Paulo, Ribeiro Preto, SP, Brazil
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Klaus Hartfelder

    1. Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular e Bioagentes Patognicos, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeiro Preto, Universidade de So Paulo, Ribeiro Preto, SP, Brazil
    Search for more papers by this author

To whom correspondence should be addressed (email mmflorec@usp.br).

Abstract

Cadherins are crucial molecules mediating cell—cell interactions between somatic and germline cells in insect and mammalian male and female gonads. We analysed the presence and localization of cadherins in ovaries of honeybee queens and in testes of drones. Transcripts representing two classical cadherins, E-cadherin (shotgun) and N-cadherin, as well as three protocadherins (Starry night, Fat and Fat-like) were detected in gonads of both sexes. Pan-cadherin antibodies, which most probably detect a honeybee N-cadherin, were used in immunolocalization analyses. In the germarium of ovarioles, cadherin-IR (cadherin immunoreactivity) was evidenced as homogeneously distributed in the cytoplasm and as nuclear foci, in both germline and somatic cells. It was also detected in polyfusomes and ring canals. In testiolar tubules, cadherin-IR showed a cytoplasmic and nuclear distributon alike in ovaries. The unexpected nuclear localization and cytoplasmic distribution in ovaries and testes were corroborated by immunogold electron microscopy, which revealed cadherin aggregates associated with electron-dense nuclear structures. With respect to cadherin localization, the honeybee differs from Drosophila, the model for gametogenesis in insects, raising the question as to how differences among solitary and social species may be built into and generated from the general architecture of polytrophic meroistic ovaries. It also indicates the possibility of divergent roles for cadherin in the functional architecture of insect gonads, in general, especially in taxa with high reproductive output.

Ancillary