BMC Dev Biol. 2019 Oct 22;19(1):20. doi: 10.1186/s12861-019-0200-1
BACKGROUND: Immature mammalian oocytes are held arrested at prophase I of meiosis by an inhibitory phosphorylation of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1). Release from this meiotic arrest and germinal vesicle breakdown is dependent on dephosphorylation of CDK1 by the protein, cell cycle division 25B (CDC25B). Evidence suggests that phosphorylated CDC25B is bound to YWHA (14-3-3) proteins in the cytoplasm of immature oocytes and is thus maintained in an inactive form. The importance of YWHA in meiosis demands additional studies. RESULTS: Messenger RNA for multiple isoforms of the YWHA protein family was detected in mouse oocytes and eggs. All seven mammalian YWHA isoforms previously reported to be expressed in mouse oocytes, were found to interact with CDC25B as evidenced by in situ proximity ligation assays. Interaction of YWHAH with CDC25B was indicated by Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) microscopy. Intracytoplasmic microinjection of oocytes with R18, a known, synthetic, non-isoform-specific, YWHA-blocking peptide promoted germinal vesicle breakdown. This suggests that inhibiting the interactions between YWHA proteins and their binding partners releases the oocyte from meiotic arrest. Microinjection of isoform-specific, translation-blocking morpholino oligonucleotides to knockdown or downregulate YWHA protein synthesis in oocytes suggested a role for a specific YWHA isoform in maintaining the meiotic arrest. More definitively however, and in contrast to the knockdown experiments, oocyte-specific and global deletion of two isoforms of YWHA, YWHAH (14-3-3 eta) or YWHAE (14-3-3 epsilon) indicated that the complete absence of either or both isoforms does not alter oocyte development and release from the meiotic prophase I arrest. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple isoforms of the YWHA protein are expressed in mouse oocytes and eggs and interact with the cell cycle protein CDC25B, but YWHAH and YWHAE isoforms are not essential for normal mouse oocyte maturation, fertilization and early embryonic development.
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