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J Cell Biol. 2004 Mar 29;164(7):1033-44.

Conventional PKCs regulate the temporal pattern of Ca2+ oscillations at fertilization in mouse eggs.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, England, UK.


In mammalian eggs, sperm-induced Ca2+ oscillations at fertilization are the primary trigger for egg activation and initiation of embryonic development. Identifying the downstream effectors that decode this unique Ca2+ signal is essential to understand how the transition from egg to embryo is coordinated. Here, we investigated whether conventional PKCs (cPKCs) can decode Ca2+ oscillations at fertilization. By monitoring the dynamics of GFP-labeled PKCalpha and PKCgamma in living mouse eggs, we demonstrate that cPKCs translocate to the egg membrane at fertilization following a pattern that is shaped by the amplitude, duration, and frequency of the Ca2+ transients. In addition, we show that cPKC translocation is driven by the C2 domain when Ca2+ concentration reaches 1-3 microM. Finally, we present evidence that one physiological function of activated cPKCs in fertilized eggs is to sustain long-lasting Ca2+ oscillations, presumably via the regulation of store-operated Ca2+ entry.

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