Ndc80 regulates meiotic spindle organization, chromosome alignment, and cell cycle progression in mouse oocytes.
ABSTRACT Ndc80 (called Hec1 in human), the core component of the Ndc80 complex, is involved in regulation of both kinetochore-microtubule interactions and the spindle assembly checkpoint in mitosis; however, its role in meiosis remains unclear. Here, we report Ndc80 expression, localization, and possible functions in mouse oocyte meiosis. Ndc80 mRNA levels gradually increased during meiosis. Immunofluorescent staining showed that Ndc80 was restricted to the germinal vesicle and associated with spindle microtubules from the Pro-MI to MII stages. Ndc80 was localized on microtubules and asters in the cytoplasm after taxol treatment, while Ndc80 staining was diffuse after disruption of microtubules by nocodazole treatment, confirming its microtubule localization. Disruption of Ndc80 function by either siRNA injection or antibody injection resulted in severe chromosome misalignment, spindle disruption, and precocious polar body extrusion. Our data show a unique localization pattern of Ndc80 in mouse oocytes and suggest that Ndc80 may be required for chromosome alignment and spindle organization, and may regulate spindle checkpoint activity during mouse oocyte meiosis.