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Mol Reprod Dev. 2002 May;62(1):13-28.

Identification and characterisation of known and novel transcripts expressed during the final stages of human oocyte maturation.

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Centre for Early Human Development, Institute of Reproduction and Development, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia.


The final stages of oocyte maturation, from the germinal vesicle (GV) stage to metaphase II (MII) oocytes, are characterised by a series of dynamic events. These include germinal vesicle break down (GVBD), resumption of meiosis, and nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation to produce MII oocytes ready for fertilisation. To investigate the specific genes transcribed during these stages of oogenesis, we have prepared and analysed amplified cDNA representing the transcribed genes in a series of GV and MII oocytes. Differential display analysis disclosed that the overall gene expression profiles between different samples of GV oocytes are very similar, regardless of their source, while those between the MII oocytes are markedly variable. A comparison of expression profiles in oocytes and somatic (cumulus) cells identified several known genes preferentially-expressed in oocytes (e.g., a zona pellucida gene), as well as five novel sequences. Two of the five novel sequences are homologous to retrotransposon sequences, long terminal repeat (LTR) and long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) 1, and two other sequences show partial homology to known ESTs and genomic sequences. The remaining sequence, which is identical to shorter ESTs isolated from germ cell tumor cDNA libraries, was extended towards its 5' end by PCR, using the original cDNA preparation from which it was isolated as a template. Expression of the resultant 1.1-kb transcript is restricted to the testis and ovary, and its expression correlates with cell pluripotency in that it is expressed in embryonal carcinoma cells, but not in their differentiated derivative cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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