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Cell Cycle. 2012 Feb 15;11(4):818-26. doi: 10.4161/cc.11.4.19329. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Synaptotagmin1 is required for spindle stability and metaphase-to-anaphase transition in mouse oocytes.

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  • 1Center for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Ob/Gy, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, China.


Synaptotagmin1, a calcium sensor for exocytosis, forms the 7S complex, or so-called SNARE protein complex, together with SNAP -25, syntaxin and synaptobrevin to mediate docking and fusion of synaptic vesicles to the plasma membrane of the nerve terminal. Here, we identified the unique localization, expression and function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation by using confocal microscopy, western blotting, Morpholino-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. We showed that Syt1 expression was gradually increased during oocyte maturation. Syt1 was localized at the oocyte cortex from GV to MII stages and at the spindle poles in MI and MII phases, with one third of a signal-free zone at the oocyte cortex, where the chromosomes are located, which is similar to the distribution pattern of CGs from the pro-MI to MII stages. Knockdown of Syt1 resulted in pro-MI/MI arrest and PB1 extrusion decrease, with severely disrupted spindles and misaligned chromosomes. Knockdown of Syt1 also caused abnormal localization of γ-tubulin, which became redistributed into the cytoplasm. Chromosome spreading showed failure of homologous chromosome segregation. The spindle assembly checkpoint protein Bub3 was detected at the kinetochores even after 10 h of oocyte culture. Live cell imaging analysis revealed that knockdown of Syt1 resulted in abnormal spindles with various morphologies and chromosomes arrested at the pro-MI/MI stage. Defective spindles failed to support chromosome alignment along microtubules, which led to repetitive unsuccessful metaphase-anaphase transitions and failure of PB1 extrusion after extended culture. Taken together, we suggest that Syt1 may act as a MTOC-associated protein to play important roles in mouse oocyte spindle organization/stability, and that it is indispensable for the metaphase-anaphase transition to promote mouse oocyte meiotic maturation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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