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Dev Biol. 2001 Apr 15;232(2):400-13.

Meiotic maturation of the mouse oocyte requires an equilibrium between cyclin B synthesis and degradation.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire du Développement, UMR 7622, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 9 quai Saint Bernard, Paris, 75252, France


Among the proteins whose synthesis and/or degradation is necessary for a proper progression through meiotic maturation, cyclin B appears to be one of the most important. Here, we attempted to modulate the level of cyclin B1 and B2 synthesis during meiotic maturation of the mouse oocyte. We used cyclin B1 or B2 mRNAs with poly(A) tails of different sizes and cyclin B1 or B2 antisense RNAs. Oocytes microinjected with cyclin B1 mRNA showed two phenotypes: most were blocked in MI, while the others extruded the first polar body in advance when compared to controls. Moreover, these effects were correlated with the length of the poly(A) tail. Thus it seems that the rate of cyclin B1 translation controls the timing of the first meiotic M phase and the transition to anaphase I. Moreover, overexpression of cyclin B1 or B2 was able to bypass the dbcAMP-induced germinal vesicle block, but only the cyclin B1 mRNA-microinjected oocytes did not extrude their first polar body. Oocytes injected with the cyclin B1 antisense progressed through the first meiotic M phase but extruded the first polar body in advance and were unable to enter metaphase II. This suggested that inhibition of cyclin B1 synthesis only took place at the end of the first meiotic M phase, most likely because the cyclin B1 mRNA was protected. The injection of cyclin B2 antisense RNA had no effect. The life observation of the synthesis and degradation of a cyclin B1-GFP chimera during meiotic maturation of the mouse oocyte demonstrated that degradation can only occur during a given period of time once it has started. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the rates of cyclin B synthesis and degradation determine the timing of the major events taking place during meiotic maturation of the mouse oocyte.

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