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J Proteome Res. 2011 May 6;10(5):2140-53. doi: 10.1021/pr100706k. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Proteomic analysis of mouse oocytes reveals 28 candidate factors of the "reprogrammome".

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Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Mouse Embryology Laboratory, Röntgenstrasse 20, D-48149 Münster, Germany.


The oocyte is the only cell of the body that can reprogram transplanted somatic nuclei and sets the gold standard for all reprogramming methods. Therefore, an in-depth characterization of its proteome holds promise to advance our understanding of reprogramming and germ cell biology. To date, limitations on oocyte numbers and proteomic technology have impeded this task, and the search for reprogramming factors has been conducted in embryonic stem (ES) cells instead. Here, we present the proteome of metaphase II mouse oocytes to a depth of 3699 proteins, which substantially extends the number of proteins identified until now in mouse oocytes and is comparable by size to the proteome of undifferentiated mouse ES cells. Twenty-eight oocyte proteins, also detected in ES cells, match the criteria of our multilevel approach to screen for reprogramming factors, namely nuclear localization, chromatin modification, and catalytic activity. Our oocyte proteome catalog thus advances the definition of the "reprogrammome", the set of molecules--proteins, RNAs, lipids, and small molecules--that enable reprogramming.

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