Signaling pathways in the development of female germ cells
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Primordial follicles are the first small follicles to appear in the mammalian ovary. Women are born with a fixed number of primordial follicles in the ovaries. Once formed, the pool of primordial follicles serves as a source of developing follicles and oocytes. The first aim of this thesis was to investigate the functional role of the intra-oocyte signaling pathways, especially the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathways in the regulation of primordial follicle activation and survival. We found that a primordial follicle remains dormant when the PI3K and mTORC1 signaling in its oocyte is activated to an appropriate level, which is just sufficient to maintain its survival, but not sufficient for its growth initiation. Hyperactivation of either of these signaling pathways causes global activation of the entire pool of primordial follicles leading to the exhaustion of all the follicles in young adulthood in mice. Mammalian oocytes, while growing within the follicles, remain arrested at prophase I of meiosis. Oocytes within the fully-grown antral follicles resume meiosis upon a preovulatory surge of leutinizing hormone (LH), which indicates that LH mediates the resumption of meiosis. The prophase I arrest in the follicle-enclosed oocyte is the result of low maturation promoting factor (MPF) activity, and resumption of meiosis upon the arrival of hormonal signals is mediated by activation of MPF. MPF is a complex of cyclin dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) and cyclin B1, which is essential and sufficient for entry into mitosis. Although much of the mitotic cell cycle machinery is shared during meiosis, lack of Cdk2 in mice leads to a postnatal loss of all oocytes, indicating that Cdk2 is important for oocyte survival, and probably oocyte meiosis also. There have been conflicting results earlier about the role of Cdk2 in metaphase II arrest of Xenopus oocytes. Thus the second aim of the thesis was to identify the specific Cdk that is essential for mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. We generated mouse models with oocytespecific deletion of Cdk1 or Cdk2 and studied the specific requirements of Cdk1 and Cdk2 during resumption of oocyte meiosis. We found that only Cdk1 is essential and sufficient for the oocyte meiotic maturation. Cdk1 does not only phosphorylate the meiotic phosphoproteins during meiosis resumption but also phosphorylates and suppresses the downstream protein phosphatase 1, which is essential for protecting the Cdk1 substrates from dephosphorylation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2014. , 41 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1649
ovary, primordial follicle, activation, mTORC₁, PI₃K, oocyte maturation, MPF, Cdk₁
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject Medical Biochemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88309ISBN: 978-91-7601-056-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-88309DiVA: diva2:714940
2014-05-23, KB3B1, KBC-huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 09:30 (English)
Stener-Victorin, Elisabet, Docent
Liu, Kui, Professor
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