ABSTRACT: The molecular underpinnings of the oocyte-to-embryo transition are poorly understood. Here we show that two protein tyrosine phosphatase-like (PTPL) family proteins, EGG-4 and EGG-5, are required for key events of the oocyte-to-embryo transition in Caenorhabditis elegans. The predicted EGG-4 and EGG-5 amino acid sequences are 99% identical and their functions are redundant. In embryos lacking EGG-4 and EGG-5, we observe defects in meiosis, polar body formation, the block to polyspermy, F-actin dynamics, and eggshell deposition. During oogenesis, EGG-4 and EGG-5 assemble at the oocyte cortex with the previously identified regulators or effectors of the oocyte-to-embryo transition EGG-3, CHS-1, and MBK-2 [1, 2]. All of these molecules share a complex interdependence with regards to their dynamics and subcellular localization. Shortly after fertilization, EGG-4 and EGG-5 are required to properly coordinate a redistribution of CHS-1 and EGG-3 away from the cortex during meiotic anaphase I. Therefore, EGG-4 and EGG-5 are not only required for critical events of the oocyte-to-embryo transition but also link the dynamics of the regulatory machinery with the advancing cell cycle.
Current biology: CB 11/2009; 19(20):1752-7. · 10.99 Impact Factor