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    Tropomyosins are actin-binding cytoskeletal proteins that play a pivotal role in regulating the function of actin filaments in muscle and non-muscle cells; however, the roles of non-muscle tropomyosins in mouse oocytes are unknown. This study investigated the expression and functions of non-muscle tropomyosin (Tpm3) during meiotic maturation of mouse oocytes. Tpm3 mRNA was detected at all developmental stages in mouse oocytes. Tpm3 protein was localized at the cortex during the germinal vesicle and germinal vesicle breakdown stages. However, the overall fluorescence intensity of Tpm3 immunostaining was markedly decreased in metaphase II oocytes. Knockdown of Tpm3 impaired asymmetric division of oocytes and spindle migration, considerably reduced the amount of cortical actin, and caused membrane blebbing during cytokinesis. Expression of a constitutively active cofilin mutant and Tpm3 overexpression confirmed that Tpm3 protects cortical actin from depolymerization by cofilin. The data indicate that Tpm3 plays crucial roles in maintaining cortical actin integrity and asymmetric cell division during oocyte maturation, and that dynamic regulation of cortical actin by Tpm3 is critical to ensure proper polar body protrusion.


    Woo-In Jang, Yu-Jin Jo, Hak-Cheol Kim, Jia-Lin Jia, Suk Namgoong, Nam-Hyung Kim. Non-muscle tropomyosin (Tpm3) is crucial for asymmetric cell division and maintenance of cortical integrity in mouse oocytes. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2014;13(15):2359-69

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    PMID: 25483187

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