[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ERK3 (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 3) is an atypical member of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase family of serine/threonine kinases. Little is known about its function in mitosis, and even less about its roles in mammalian oocyte meiosis. In the present study, we examined the localization, expression and functions of ERK3 during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. Immunofluorescent analysis showed that ERK3 localized to the spindles from the pre-MI stage to the MII stage. ERK3 co-localized with α-tubulin on the spindle fibers and asters in oocytes after taxol treatment. Deletion of ERK3 by microinjection of ERK3 morpholino (ERK3 MO) resulted in oocyte arrest at the MI stage with severely impaired spindles and misaligned chromosomes. Most importantly, the spindle assembly checkpoint protein BubR1 could be detected on kinetochores even in oocytes cultured for 10 h. Low temperature treatment experiments indicated that ERK3 deletion disrupted kinetochore-microtubule (K-MT) attachments. Chromosome spreading experiments showed that knock-down of ERK3 prevented the segregation of homologous chromosomes. Our data suggest that ERK3 is crucial for spindle stability and required for the metaphase-anaphase transition in mouse oocyte maturation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MAPK-activated protein kinase 2 (MK2), a direct substrate of p38 MAPK, plays key roles in multiple physiological functions in mitosis. Here, we show for the first time the unique distribution pattern of MK2 in meiosis. Phospho-MK2 was localized on bipolar spindle minus ends and along the interstitial axes of homologous chromosomes extending over centromere regions and arm regions at metaphase of first meiosis (MI stage) in mouse oocytes. At metaphase of second meiosis (MII stage), p-MK2 was localized on the bipolar spindle minus ends and at the inner centromere region of sister chromatids as dots. Knockdown or inhibition of MK2 resulted in spindle defects. Spindles were surrounded by irregular nondisjunction chromosomes, which were arranged in an amphitelic or syntelic/monotelic manner, or chromosomes detached from the spindles. Kinetochore-microtubule attachments were impaired in MK2-deficient oocytes because spindle microtubules became unstable in response to cold treatment. In addition, homologous chromosome segregation and meiosis progression were inhibited in these oocytes. Our data suggest that MK2 may be essential for functional meiotic bipolar spindle formation, chromosome segregation and proper kinetochore-microtubule attachments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BubR1 (Bub1-related kinase or MAD3/Bub1b) is an essential component of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and plays an important role in kinetochore localization of other spindle checkpoint proteins in mitosis. But its roles in mammalian oocyte meiosis are unclear. In the present study, we examined the expression, localization and function of BubR1 during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The expression level of BubR1 increased progressively from germinal vesicle to metaphase II stages. Immunofluorescent analysis showed that BubR1 localized to kinetochores from the germinal vesicle breakdown to the prometaphase I stages, co-localizing with polo-like kinase 1, while it disappeared from the kinetochores at the metaphase I stage. Spindle disruption by nocodazole treatment caused relocation of BubR1 to kinetochores at metaphase I, anaphase I and metaphase II stages; spindle microtubules were disrupted by low temperature treatment in the BubR1-depleted oocytes in meiosis I, suggesting that BubR1 monitors kinetochore-microtubule (K-MT) attachments. Over-expression of exogenous BubR1 arrested oocyte meiosis maturation at the M I stage or earlier; in contrast, dominant-negative BubR1 and BubR1 depletion accelerated meiotic progression. In the BubR1-depleted oocytes, higher percentage of chromosome misalignment was observed and more oocytes overrode the M I stage arrest induced by low concentration of nocodazole. Our data suggest that BubR1 is a spindle assembly checkpoint protein regulating meiotic progression of oocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, a novel variant of ER-alpha, ER-alpha36 was identified and cloned. ER-alpha36 lacks intrinsic transcription activity and mainly mediates nongenomic estrogen signaling. Here, we studied the role of nongenomic estrogen signaling pathways mediated by ER-alpha36 in tamoxifen resistance and agonist action.
The cellular localization of ER-alpha36 was examined by immunofluorescence in MCF-7 cells and Hec1A cells. MCF-7 breast cancer cells, MCF-7 cells expressing recombinant ER-alpha36 (MCF-7/ER36), Hec1A endometrial cancer cells and Hec1A cells with siRNA knockdown of ER-alpha36 (Hec1A/RNAiER36) were treated with 17beta-estradial (E2) and tamoxifen (TAM) in the absence and presence of kinase inhibitor U0126 and LY294002. We examined phosphorylation of signaling molecules and the expression of c-Myc by immunoblotting, and tumor cell growth by MTT assay.
ER variant ER-alpha36 enhances TAM agonist activity through activation of the membrane-initiated signaling pathways in endometrial cancer, and that ER-alpha36 is involved in de novo and acquired TAM resistance in breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In mitosis, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) prevents anaphase onset until all chromosomes have been attached to the spindle microtubules and aligned correctly at the equatorial metaphase plate. The major checkpoint proteins in mitosis consist of mitotic arrest-deficient (Mad)1-3, budding uninhibited by benzimidazole (Bub)1, Bub3, and monopolar spindle 1(Mps1). During meiosis, for the formation of a haploid gamete, two consecutive rounds of chromosome segregation occur with only one round of DNA replication. To pull homologous chromosomes to opposite spindle poles during meiosis I, both sister kinetochores of a homologue must face toward the same pole which is very different from mitosis and meiosis II. As a core member of checkpoint proteins, the individual role of Bub3 in mammalian oocyte meiosis is unclear. In this study, using overexpression and RNA interference (RNAi) approaches, we analyzed the role of Bub3 in mouse oocyte meiosis. Our data showed that overexpressed Bub3 inhibited meiotic metaphase-anaphase transition by preventing homologous chromosome and sister chromatid segregations in meiosis I and II, respectively. Misaligned chromosomes, abnormal polar body and double polar bodies were observed in Bub3 knock-down oocytes, causing aneuploidy. Furthermore, through cold treatment combined with Bub3 overexpression, we found that overexpressed Bub3 affected the attachments of microtubules and kinetochores during metaphase-anaphase transition. We propose that as a member of SAC, Bub3 is required for regulation of both meiosis I and II, and is potentially involved in kinetochore-microtubule attachment in mammalian oocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrin has been described as a microtubule and kinetochore protein required for the maintenance of sister chromatid cohesion and centrosome integrity in human mitosis. However, its role in mammalian oocyte meiosis is unclear. In this study, we find that Astrin is mainly associated with the meiotic spindle microtubules and concentrated on spindle poles at metaphase I and metaphase II stages. Taxol treatment and immunoprecipitation show that Astrin may interact with the centrosomal proteins Aurora-A or Plk1 to regulate microtubule organization and spindle pole integrity. Loss-of-function of Astrin by RNAi and overexpression of the coiled-coil domain results in spindle disorganization, chromosome misalignment and meiosis progression arrest. Thr24, Ser66 or Ser447 may be the potential phosphorylation sites of Astrin by Plk1, as site-directed mutation of these sites causes oocyte meiotic arrest at metaphase I with highly disordered spindles and disorganized chromosomes, although mutant Astrin localizes to the spindle apparatus. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that Astrin is critical for meiotic spindle assembly and maturation in mouse oocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homologous chromosomes separate in meiosis I and sister chromatids separate in meiosis II, generating haploid gametes. To address the question why sister chromatids do not separate in meiosis I, we explored the roles of Shogoshin1 (Sgo1) in chromosome separation during oocyte meiosis.
Sgo1 function was evaluated by exogenous overexpression to enhance its roles and RNAi to suppress its roles during two meioses of mouse oocytes. Immunocytochemistry and chromosome spread were used to evaluate phenotypes. The exogenous Sgo1 overexpression kept homologous chromosomes and sister chromatids not to separate in meiosis I and meiosis II, respectively, while the Sgo1 RNAi promoted premature separation of sister chromatids.
Our results reveal that prevention of premature separation of sister chromatids in meiosis I requires the retention of centromeric Sgo1, while normal separation of sister chromatids in meiosis II requires loss of centromeric Sgo1.