Characterization of Aurora-A in porcine oocytes and early embryos implies its functional roles in the regulation of meiotic maturation, fertilization and cleavage
Aurora-A is a serine/threonine protein kinase that plays important regulatory roles during mitotic cell cycle progression. In this study, Aurora-A expression, subcellular localization, and possible functions during porcine oocyte meiotic maturation, fertilization and early embryonic cleavage were studied by using Western blot, confocal microscopy and drug treatments. The quantity of Aurora-A protein remained stable during porcine oocyte meiotic maturation. Confocal microscopy revealed that Aurora-A distributed abundantly in the nucleus at the germinal vesicle stage. After germinal vesicle breakdown, Aurora-A concentrated around the condensed chromosomes and the metaphase I spindle, and finally, Aurora-A was associated with spindle poles during the formation of the metaphase II spindle. Aurora-A concentrated in the pronuclei in fertilized eggs. Aurora-A was not found in the spindle region when colchicine or staurosporine was used to inhibit microtubule organization, while it accumulated as several dots in the cytoplasm after taxol treatment. In conclusion, Aurora-A may be a multifunctional kinase that plays pivotal regulatory roles in microtubule assembly during porcine oocyte meiotic maturation, fertilization and early embryonic mitosis.(Received September 15 2004)
(Accepted January 25 2005)
Key Words: Early development; Fertilization; Kinases; Meiosis; Oocyte.
c1 All correspondence to: Qing-Yuan Sun, State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, People's Republic of China, Tel: +86 10 82627593, Fax: +86 10 62565689. e-mail: email@example.com