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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Apr 26;108(17):7040-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1013634108. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Identification and characterization of an oocyte factor required for development of porcine nuclear transfer embryos.

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  • 1Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan. kei_m@kais.kyoto-u.ac.jp


Nuclear reprogramming of differentiated cells can be induced by oocyte factors. Despite numerous attempts, these factors and mechanisms responsible for successful reprogramming remain elusive. Here, we identify one such factor, necessary for the development of nuclear transfer embryos, using porcine oocyte extracts in which some reprogramming events are recapitulated. After incubating somatic nuclei in oocyte extracts from the metaphase II stage, the oocyte proteins that were specifically and abundantly incorporated into the nuclei were identified by mass spectrometry. Among 25 identified proteins, we especially focused on a multifunctional protein, DJ-1. DJ-1 is present at a high concentration in oocytes from the germinal vesicle stage until embryos at the four-cell stage. Inhibition of DJ-1 function compromises the development of nuclear transfer embryos but not that of fertilized embryos. Microarray analysis of nuclear transfer embryos in which DJ-1 function is inhibited shows perturbed expression of P53 pathway components. In addition, embryonic arrest of nuclear transfer embryos injected with anti-DJ-1 antibody is rescued by P53 inhibition. We conclude that DJ-1 is an oocyte factor that is required for development of nuclear transfer embryos. This study presents a means for identifying natural reprogramming factors in mammalian oocytes and a unique insight into the mechanisms underlying reprogramming by nuclear transfer.

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