Obox4 critically regulates cAMP-dependent meiotic arrest and MI-MII transition in oocytes
ABSTRACT Extra follicular oocytes spontaneously resume meiosis in vitro, but the intact germinal vesicle (GV) is retained if the oocytes are cultured in medium containing phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors or cAMP analogues. On the basis of our finding that Obox4 is prominently expressed in oocytes, the present study was conducted to determine the functional role of the homeodomain-containing factor Obox4 during in vitro oocyte maturation. After microinjection of Obox4 dsRNA into the cytoplasm of GV oocytes cultured in M16 medium, oocytes were arrested at metaphase I (MI, 77.7%) and metaphase II (MII, 22.3%). Surprisingly, however, 89% of Obox4 RNAi-treated oocytes resumed meiosis and developed to MI and MII when cultured in medium containing 0.2 mM 3-isobutyl-1-methyl-xanthine (IBMX), in which untreated oocytes maintain intact GVs. Spindles were aberrant, and chromosomes were severely aggregated with decreased MPF and MAP kinase activities in arrested MI oocytes after exposure to Obox4 RNAi. Oocytes overexpressing Obox4 retained intact GVs when cultured in M16 medium. Taken together, for the first time to our knowledge, these findings indicate that Obox4 plays a key role in the cAMP-dependent signaling cascades that maintain GV arrest. Oocytes not expressing Obox4 failed to maintain intact GVs in IBMX-supplemented medium, while GVs remained intact when oocytes were kept in plain medium and overexpressing Obox4, suggesting that Obox4 plays a critical role in cAMP-dependent cascade for maintaining intact GVs.
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ABSTRACT: Stored maternal factors in oocytes regulate oocyte differentiation into embryos during early embryonic development. Before zygotic gene activation (ZGA), these early embryos are mainly dependent on maternal factors for survival, such as macromolecules and subcellular organelles in oocytes. The genes encoding these essential maternal products are referred to as maternal effect genes (MEGs). MEGs accumulate maternal factors during oogenesis and enable ZGA, progression of early embryo development, and the initial establishment of embryonic cell lineages. Disruption of MEGs results in defective embryogenesis. Despite their important functions, only a few mammalian MEGs have been identified. In this review we summarize the roles of known MEGs in mouse fertility, with a particular emphasis on oocytes and early embryonic development. An increased knowledge of the working mechanism of MEGs could ultimately provide a means to regulate oocyte maturation and subsequent early embryonic development.06/2014; 41(2):47-61. DOI:10.5653/cerm.2014.41.2.47
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ABSTRACT: Oocyte-specific homeobox 4 (Obox4) is preferentially expressed in oocytes and plays an important role in the completion of meiosis of oocytes. However, the Obox4 expression pattern has not been reported yet. In this study, we investigated the subcellular localization of Obox4 using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion expression system. Three regions of Obox4 were divided and fused to the GFP expression vector. The partly deleted homeodomain (HD) regions of Obox4 were also fused to the GFP expression vector. The recombinant vectors were transfected into HEK-293T cells plated onto coated glass coverslips. The transfected cells were stained with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindol and photographed using a fluorescence microscope. Mutants containing the HD region as well as full-length Obox4 were clearly localized to the nucleus. In contrast, the other mutants of either the N-terminal or C-terminal region without HD had impaired nuclear localization. We also found that the N-terminal and C-terminal of the Obox HD contributed to nuclear localization and the entire HD was necessary for nuclear localization of Obox4. Based on the results of the present study, we demonstrated that the intact HD region of Obox4 is responsible for the nuclear localization of Obox4 protein in cells.03/2013; 40(1):1-6. DOI:10.5653/cerm.2013.40.1.1
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ABSTRACT: Thioredoxin-interacting protein (Txnip) regulates intracellular redox state and prompts oxidative stress by binding to and inhibiting Thioredoxin (Trx). In addition, via a Trx-independent mechanism, Txnip regulates glucose metabolism and thus maintains intracellular glucose levels. Previously, we found Txnip mRNA highly expressed in immature germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes, but currently there is no report describing the role of Txnip in oocytes. Therefore, we conducted the present study to determine the function of Txnip in mouse oocytes' maturation and meiosis by using RNA interference (RNAi) method. Upon specific depletion of Txnip, 79.5% of oocytes were arrested at metaphase I (MI) stage. Time-lapse video microscopy analysis revealed that the formation of granules in the oocyte cytoplasm increased concurrent with retarded cytoplasmic streaming after Txnip RNAi treatment. Txnip RNAi-treated oocytes had upregulated glucose uptake and lactate production. To confirm the supposition that mechanism responsible for these observed phenomena involves increased lactate in oocytes, we cultured oocytes in high lactate medium and observed the same increased granule formation and retarded cytoplasmic streaming as found by Txnip RNAi. The MI-arrested oocytes exhibited scattered microtubules and aggregated chromosomes indicating that actin networking was disturbed by Txnip RNAi. Therefore, we conclude that Txnip is a critical regulator of glucose metabolism in oocytes and is involved in maintaining cytoplasmic streaming in mouse oocytes.PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e70708. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0070708 · 3.53 Impact Factor