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Dev Biol. 2008 Oct 1;322(1):21-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.06.039. Epub 2008 Jul 9.

Cdc42 protein acts upstream of IQGAP1 and regulates cytokinesis in mouse oocytes and embryos.

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Department of Embryology, Institute of Zoology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland.


Cdc42 and Rac1 Rho family GTPases, and their interacting protein IQGAP1 are the key regulators of cell polarity. We examined the role of Cdc42 and IQGAP1 in establishing the polarity of mouse oocyte and regulation of meiotic and mitotic divisions. We showed that Cdc42 was localized on the microtubules of meiotic and mitotic spindle and in the cortex of mouse oocytes and cleaving embryos. IQGAP1 was present in the cytoplasm and cortex of growing and fully-grown oocytes. During maturation it disappeared from the cortex and during meiotic and mitotic cytokinesis it concentrated in the contractile ring. Toxin B inhibition of the binding activity of Cdc42 changed the localization of IQGAP1, inhibited emission of the first polar body, and caused disappearance of the cortical actin without affecting the migration of meiotic spindle. This indicates, that in maturing oocytes accumulation of cortical actin is not indispensable for spindle migration. In zygotes treated with toxin B actin cytoskeleton was rearranged and the first and/or subsequent cytokinesis were inhibited. Our results indicate that Cdc42 acts upstream of IQGAP1 and is involved in regulation of cytokinesis in mouse oocytes and cleaving embryos, rather than in establishing the polarity of the oocyte.

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