Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 July 2013
Clathrin heavy chain 1 (CLTC) has been considered a “moonlighting protein” which acts in membrane trafficking during interphase and in stabilizing spindle fibers during mitosis. However, its roles in meiosis, especially in mammalian oocyte maturation, remain unclear. This study investigated CLTC expression and function in spindle formation and chromosome congression during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. Our results showed that the expression level of CLTC increased after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and peaked in the M phase. Immunostaining results showed CLTC distribution throughout the cytoplasm in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Appearance and disappearance of CLTC along with β-tubulin (TUBB) could be observed during spindle dynamic changes. To explore the relationship between CLTC and microtubule dynamics, oocytes at metaphase were treated with taxol or nocodazole. CLTC colocalized with TUBB at the enlarged spindle and with cytoplasmic asters after taxol treatment; it disassembled and distributed into the cytoplasm along with TUBB after nocodazole treatment. Disruption of CLTC function using stealth siRNA caused a decreased first polar body extrusion rate and extensive spindle formation and chromosome congression defects. Taken together, these results show that CLTC plays an important role in spindle assembly and chromosome congression through a microtubule correlation mechanism during mouse oocyte maturation.
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