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XGef functions independently of exchange factor activity to influence RINGO/CDK1 signaling and CPEB activation during Xenopus oocyte maturation

By Peiwen Kuo


Thesis advisor: Laura E. HakeMetazoan development depends on cytoplasmic polyadenylation, a key mechanism that controls the translation of maternally deposited mRNAs. In Xenopus laevis oocytes, CPEB regulates the translation of several developmentally important mRNAs, which drive meiotic progression and the production of fertilizable eggs. Most of our current knowledge of this process, also referred to as oocyte maturation, has been acquired from experiments conducted in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Despite over 30 years of research devoted to the exploration of progesterone signaling during maturation, the very early events that occur from progesterone receptor engagement to CPEB activation are not well understood. XGef, a putative Rho family guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), interacts with CPEB and facilitates CPEB activation and timely meiotic progression. To further our understanding of XGef function during meiotic progression, the requirement for exchange factor activity and the activities of several Rho GTPases during maturation were examined. Despite previous reports of XGef activation of Cdc42 in mammalian cell culture, XGef does not stimulate the activation of Cdc42 in maturing Xenopus oocytes. Further, Cdc42 activity does not affect CPEB phosphorylation and overexpression of a dominant negative Cdc42 mutant does not affect maturation. Inhibition of Toxin B sensitive Rho GTPases, including Cdc42, Rac1 and Rho A-C, also fails to affect CPEB activation or meiotic progression. Lastly, the overexpression of XGef exchange deficient point mutants did not affect maturation compared to oocytes overexpressing wildtype XGef. Together, these results suggest that as a facilitator of CPEB activation and meiotic progression, XGef functions independently of exchange factor activity and Rho GTPase activation. Additionally, we found that XGef activity influences the function of RINGO/CDK1, a novel component of the progesterone signaling pathway. XGef inhibition depresses RINGO-induced GVBD, whereas XGef overexpression enhances this process. XGef interacts with RINGO in oocyte extracts and the interaction is direct in vitro. Our protein interaction data, in total, suggest that a XGef/RINGO/MAPK/CPEB complex forms in ovo to facilitate CPEB activation. Lastly, inhibition of RINGO activity directly compromises CPEB phosphorylation during early maturation, which suggests that RINGO/CDK1 directly mediates CPEB-activation.Thesis (PhD) — Boston College, 2009.Submitted to: Boston College. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.Discipline: Biology

Topics: CPEB, meiosis, oocyte, translation, Xenopus, XGef
Publisher: 'Boston College University Libraries'
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: eScholarship@BC

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