INTRODUCTIONThe oocyte is a remarkable cell with two universal roles in reproduction: correct segregation of chromosomes during two successive rounds of meiosis and sustaining viability of the early embryo until transcriptional activation. In order to provide the large macromolecular endowment to the embryo, oocytes manifest enlarged sizes compared to most somatic cells, and undergo asymmetric meiotic divisions that minimize loss of precious ooplasm into polar bodies destined to degenerate. These two properties have major consequences for how oocytes must control spindle formation and function, and specialized mechanisms have arisen for this. This review summarizes these mechanisms and how they relate to understanding the impact of endogenous and exogenous factors on oocyte quality and female mammalian fertility.Modifications in the use and control of the oocyte cytoskeleton are key components to the specialized meiotic mechanisms of oocytes. Asymmetrical meiotic divisions in oocytes are enabled by modifications of both the microfilament and microtubule components of the cytoskeleton. A modified actin microfilament network positions both first and second meiotic spindles asymmetrically in the oocyte. Additionally, the oocyte regulates microtubule nucleation to restrict spindle size and define the region of the ooplasm where the spindle forms. A chromatin‐generated RanGTP gradient organizes microtubules in association
Molecular Reproduction & Development – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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