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Cell Biosci. 2018 Oct 19;8:54. doi: 10.1186/s13578-018-0251-1. eCollection 2018.

A role of Pumilio 1 in mammalian oocyte maturation and maternal phase of embryogenesis.

Mak W1,2, Xia J3, Cheng EC3, Lowther K4, Lin H3,5,1,6,7.

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3Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519 USA.
Women's Health Department, Dell Medical School, Medical Park Tower, 1301 W. 38th Street, Suite 705, Austin, TX 78705 USA.
1Yale Stem Cell Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 10 Amistad Street, New Haven, CT 06519 USA.
6University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030 USA.
2Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519 USA.
4Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519 USA.
5SIAIS and School of Life Science and Technology, Shanghai Tech University, Shanghai, China.



RNA binding proteins play a pivotal role during the oocyte-to-embryo transition and maternal phase of embryogenesis in invertebrates, but their function in these processes in mammalian systems remain largely understudied.


Here we report that a member of the Pumilio/FBF family of RNA binding proteins in mice, Pumilio 1 (Pum1), is a maternal effect gene. The absence of maternal PUM1 in the oocyte does not affect meiotic maturation but leads to abnormal preimplantation development. Furthermore, genome-wide transcriptome analysis of oocytes and embryos revealed that there is a concomitant perturbation of the mRNA milieu. Of note, putative PUM1 mRNA targets were equally perturbed as non-direct targets, which indicates that PUM1 regulates the stability of maternal mRNAs both directly and indirectly. We show Cdk1 mRNA, a known PUM1 target essential for meiosis and preimplantation development, is not degraded appropriately during meiosis, leading to an increase in CDK1 protein in mature oocytes, which indicates that PUM1 post-transcriptionally regulates Cdk1 mRNA; this could partially explain the observed abnormal preimplantation development. Furthermore, our results show that maternal and zygotic PUM1 are required for postnatal survival.


These findings indicate that PUM1 is essential in the process of cytoplasmic maturation and developmental competence of the oocyte. These results reveal an important function of maternal PUM1 as a post-transcriptional regulator during mammalian embryogenesis.


Oocyte maturation; Post-transcriptional regulation; Preimplantation embryo

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