Development, growth & differentiation

Maturation-associated Dbf4 expression is essential for mouse zygotic DNA replication.

PMID 25348865


Cdc7 is an S-phase-promoting kinase (SPK) that is required for the activation of replication initiation complex assembly because it phosphorylates the MCM protein complex serving as the replicative helicase in eukaryotic organisms. Cdc7 activity is undetectable in immature mouse GV oocytes, although Cdc7 protein is already expressed at the same level as in mature oocytes or early one-cell embryos at zygotic S-phase, in which Cdc7 kinase activity is clearly detectable. Dbf4 is a regulatory subunit of Cdc7 and is required for Cdc7 kinase activity. Dbf4 is not readily detectable in immature GV oocytes but accumulates to a level similar to that in one-cell embryos during oocyte maturation, suggesting that Cdc7 is already activated in unfertilized eggs (metaphase II). RNAi-mediated knockdown of maternal Dbf4 expression prevents the maturation-associated increase in Dbf4 protein, abolishes the activation of Cdc7, and leads to the failure of DNA replication in one-cell embryos, demonstrating that Dbf4 expression is the key regulator of Cdc7 activity in mouse oocytes. Dormant Dbf4 mRNA in immature GV oocytes is recruited by cytoplasmic polyadenylation during oocyte maturation and is dependent on MPF activity via its cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE) upstream of the hexanucleotide (HEX) in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). Our results suggest that Cdc7 is inactivated in immature oocytes, preventing it from the unwanted phosphorylation of MCM proteins, and the oocyte is qualified by proper maturation to proceed following embryogenesis after fertilization through zygotic DNA replication.

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Roscovitine, ≥98% (TLC)