The similarity between the calcium-activated signaling systems of oocytes and neuronal axon terminals has prompted us to test whether BASP1 and GAP-43 proteins, highly expressed in brain neurons, are present in oocytes. Using immunocytochemical techniques combined with confocal microscopy, we have for the first time demonstrated that both BASP1 and GAP-43 are present in mouse metaphase II (MII) oocytes and zygotes. BASP1 is localized to the plasma membrane and actin cortex of MII oocytes, which is similar to BASP1 distribution in neurons and other cell types. GAP-43 is generally regarded as a postmitotic membrane marker of nerve cells; however, GAP-43 in MII oocytes is associated with microtubules of the meiotic spindle. GAP-43 is also colocalized with γ-tubulin at the spindle poles (centrosomes) and at the discrete microtubule- organizing centers in the cytoplasm. The antibodies to Ser41-phosphorylated form of GAP-43 allowed for demonstration that GAP-43 in oocytes is subject to phosphorylation by protein kinase C. The presence of BASP1 and GAP-43 in oocytes is also confirmed by electrophoresis and western blotting. Microinjection of BASP1 (but not GAP-43) into the cytoplasm of mouse MII oocytes induces their exit from metaphase II arrest followed by parthenogenetic embryo development. This suggests putative BASP1 involvement in fertilization-induced oocyte activation, presumably, through regulation of local concentration of polyphosphoinositides in the plasma membrane. Recently it was found that GAP-43 is associated with centrosomes in asymmetrically dividing neuronal progenitors, which is similar to the localization of GAP-43 at the meiotic spindle and centrosomes in oocytes. Therefore we suggest that GAP-43 may be involved in regulation of spindle orientation and oocyte polarity.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2017
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