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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Glycogen synthase kinase-3 regulates mouse oocyte homologue segregation.

Intracellular regulation of oocyte meiosis is not completely understood. However, reversible phosphorylation, which involves serine/threonine protein kinases and phosphatases (PP), is an important mediator. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a highly conserved serine/threonine protein kinase. Currently no reports exist on presence or function of GSK-3 in mammalian oocytes. The aim of this study was to determine GSK-3 presence/absence, transcript and protein expression, intracellular protein distribution, and to investigate the functional importance of GSK-3 in mouse oocyte meiosis. Germinal vesicle-intact (GVI) oocytes contained both GSK-3 transcript and protein. Although GSK-3 beta-isoform is the only transcript identifiable in GVI oocytes, both alpha- and beta-isoforms were recognized by Western blot analysis. In growing, meiotic-incompetent oocytes GSK-3 was present, diffusely located throughout the cytoplasm and absent in the nucleus, whereas in meiotic-competent oocytes this cytoplasmic GSK-3 displays a predominant peri-oolemma staining. Treatment of mouse GVI oocytes with lithium chloride (LiCl), which inhibits both inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) and GSK-3, had no significant influence on oocyte viability, morphology, or development to metaphase II (MII). However, LiCl caused abnormal spindle formation and significantly increased incidence of abnormal homologue segregation during the first meiotic division. L690,330, which is a specific IMPase inhibitor, had no significant effect on oocyte viability, morphology, MII development, or homologue segregation. This is the first report of GSK-3 in mammalian oocytes. LiCl inhibition of mouse oocyte GSK-3 modified organization of microtubules and/or function of meiotic spindles thus compromising segregation of condensed bivalent chromosomes.[1]


  1. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 regulates mouse oocyte homologue segregation. Wang, X., Liu, X.T., Dunn, R., Ohl, D.A., Smith, G.D. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (2003) [Pubmed]
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