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1 December 2002 Expression of the Receptor Guanylyl Cyclase C and Its Ligands in Reproductive Tissues of the Rat: A Potential Role for a Novel Signaling Pathway in the Epididymis
Mahaboobi Jaleel, Roslyn M. London, Sammy L. Eber, Leonard R. Forte, Sandhya S. Visweswariah
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Abstract

Guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) is a membrane-associated form of guanylyl cyclase and serves as the receptor for the heat-stable enterotoxin (ST) peptide and endogenous ligands guanylin, uroguanylin, and lymphoguanylin. The major site of expression of GC-C is the intestinal epithelial cell, although GC-C is also expressed in extraintestinal tissue such as the kidney, airway epithelium, perinatal liver, stomach, brain, and adrenal glands. Binding of ligands to GC-C leads to accumulation of intracellular cGMP, the activation of protein kinases G and A, and phosphorylation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a chloride channel that regulates salt and water secretion. We examined the expression of GC-C and its ligands in various tissues of the reproductive tract of the rat. Using reverse transcriptase and the polymerase chain reaction, we demonstrated the presence of GC-C, uroguanylin, and guanylin mRNA in both male and female reproductive organs. Western blot analysis using a monoclonal antibody to GC-C revealed the presence of differentially glycosylated forms of GC-C in the caput and cauda epididymis. Exogenous addition of uroguanylin to minced epididymal tissue resulted in cGMP accumulation, suggesting an autocrine or endocrine activation of GC-C in this tissue. Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated expression of GC-C in the tubular epithelial cells of both the caput epididymis and cauda epididymis. Our results suggest that the GC-C signaling pathway could converge on CFTR in the epididymis and perhaps control fluid and ion balance for optimal sperm maturation and storage in this tissue.

Mahaboobi Jaleel, Roslyn M. London, Sammy L. Eber, Leonard R. Forte, and Sandhya S. Visweswariah "Expression of the Receptor Guanylyl Cyclase C and Its Ligands in Reproductive Tissues of the Rat: A Potential Role for a Novel Signaling Pathway in the Epididymis," Biology of Reproduction 67(6), 1975-1980, (1 December 2002). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.102.006445
Received: 17 April 2002; Accepted: 1 July 2002; Published: 1 December 2002
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