In mammals, female meiosis consists of two asymmetric cell divisions, which generate a large haploid oocyte and two small polar bodies. Asymmetric partitioning of the cytoplasm results from migration of the meiotic spindle toward the cortex and requires actin filaments. However, the subcellular localization and the role of the existing two cytoplasmic actin (CYA) isoforms, beta and gamma, have not been characterized. We show that beta- and gamma-CYA are differentially distributed in the maturing oocyte from late metaphase I as well as in preimplantation embryos. Gamma-CYA is preferentially enriched in oocyte cortices and is absent from all cell-cell contact areas from metaphase II until the blastocyst stage. Beta-CYA is enriched in contractile structures, at cytokinesis, at cell-cell contacts, and around the forming blastocoel. Alteration of beta- or gamma-CYA function by isoform-specific antibody microinjection suggests that gamma-CYA holds a major and specific role in the establishment and/or maintenance of asymmetry in meiosis I and in the maintenance of overall cortical integrity. In contrast, beta- and gamma-CYA, together, appear to participate in the formation and the cortical anchorage of the second meiotic spindle in waiting for fertilization. Finally, differences in gamma-CYA expression are amongst the earliest markers of cell fate determination in development.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 85 • No. 5