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Insects 2012, 3(4), 1200-1219;

Unconventional Cadherin Localization in Honey Bee Gonads Revealed Through Domain-Specific Apis mellifera E- and N-Cadherin Antibodies Indicates Alternative Functions

Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular e Bioagentes Patogênicos, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Bandeirantes 3900, Ribeirão Preto 14049-900, SP, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 August 2012 / Revised: 2 November 2012 / Accepted: 6 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee)
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As key factors in intercellular adhesion processes, cadherins play important roles in a plethora of developmental processes, including gametogenesis. In a previous study on cadherin localization in the gonads of honey bees, performed with heterologous pan-cadherin antibodies, we detected these proteins as (i) associated with cell membranes, (ii) as homogeneously distributed throughout the cytoplasm, and (iii) as nuclear foci in both somatic and germline cells, raising the possibility of alternative functions. To further investigate such unusual intracellular cadherin localization we produced specific antibodies against the N- and C-terminal domains of honey bee N- and E-cadherin. A 160 kDa protein was recognized by the E-cadherin antibodies as well as one of approximately 300 kDa from those raised against N-cadherin. In gonad preparations, both proteins were detected as dispersed throughout the cytoplasm and as nuclear foci in both germline and somatic cells of queen and worker ovarioles, as well as in the testioles of drones. This leads us to infer that cadherins may indeed be involved in certain signaling pathways and/or transcriptional regulation during gametogenesis. In late oogenesis stages, immunolabeling for both proteins was observed at the cell cortex, in conformity with a role in cell adhesion. In testioles, E-cadherin was seen in co-localization with fusomes, indicating a possible role in cyst organization. Taken together, the distribution of N- and E-cadherins in honey bee gonads is suggestive of alternative roles for cadherins in gametogenesis of both sexes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Apis mellifera; ovary; testis; cadherin; honeybee Apis mellifera; ovary; testis; cadherin; honeybee

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Florecki, M.M.; Hartfelder, K. Unconventional Cadherin Localization in Honey Bee Gonads Revealed Through Domain-Specific Apis mellifera E- and N-Cadherin Antibodies Indicates Alternative Functions. Insects 2012, 3, 1200-1219.

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