Oocytes can synthesize and store maternal mRNA in an inactive translational state until the start of in vitro maturation. Cytoplasmic polyadenylation, driven by 3′-untranslated region (UTR) cis-acting cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE), is associated with translational activation of cyclin B1 mRNA during maturation. The main aim of the present study was to investigate if bovine oocyte cyclin B1 mRNA undergoes cytoplasmic polyadenylation/translation during in vitro maturation, as in other species. We have found that cyclin B1 mRNA is present in two isoforms, consisting of the same open reading frame but with different 3′-UTR lengths. Only the longest isoform (cyclin B1L) has a putative CPE sequence and other regulatory sequences, and its mRNA level decreases during early embryo development. The polyadenylation state of cyclin B1L during in vitro maturation was studied. Results demonstrated that cyclin B1L bears a relatively long poly(A) tail in germinal vesicle-stage oocytes, which is further lengthened at 10 h of maturation, before metaphase I. Interestingly, cyclin B1L bears a short poly(A) tail when the ovaries and the oocytes are transported and manipulated on ice to stop the polyadenylation process. Cytoplasmic polyadenylation most probably occurs during ovary transport in warm saline, when oocytes are still in their follicular environment. Our results also show a link between cytoplasmic polyadenylation of cyclin B1 and translation/appearance of cyclin B1 protein before in vitro maturation.
ovum pick-up/ transport