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Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (2011) 35, 45–49 (Printed in Great Britain)
Cytoplasmic and nuclear localization of cadherin in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) gonads
Mônica M Florecki1 and Klaus Hartfelder
Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular e Bioagentes Patognicos, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeiro Preto, Universidade de So Paulo, Ribeiro Preto, SP, Brazil

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.

Key words: honeybee, N-cadherin, ovary, social insect, testis

Abbreviations: cadherin-IR, cadherin immunoreactivity, stan, Starry night

1To whom correspondence should be addressed (email

Received 18 May 2010/29 June 2010; accepted 24 August 2010

Published as Cell Biology International Immediate Publication 24 August 2010, doi:10.1042/CBI20100333

© The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2011 Portland Press Limited

ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)