A Morpholino oligo can modify splicing of a pre-mRNA - www.gene-tools.com



In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, sperm entry into the oocyte triggers the completion of meiosis and the establishment of the embryonic anteroposterior (AP) axis. How the early embryo makes the transition from a meiotic to a mitotic zygote and coordinates cell cycle changes with axis formation remains unclear. We have discovered roles for the C. elegans puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase PAM-1 in both cell cycle progression and AP axis formation, further implicating proteolytic regulation in these processes. pam-1 mutant embryos exhibit a delay in exit from meiosis: thus, this peptidase is required for progression to mitotic interphase. In addition, the centrosomes associated with the sperm pronucleus fail to closely associate with the posterior cortex in pam-1 mutants, and the AP axis is not specified. The meiotic exit and polarity defects are separable, as inactivation of the B-type cyclin CYB-3 in pam-1 mutants rescues the meiotic exit delay but not the polarity defects. Thus PAM-1 may regulate CYB-3 during meiotic exit but presumably targets other protein(s) to regulate polarity. We also show that the pam-1 gene is expressed both maternally and paternally, providing additional evidence that sperm-donated gene products have important roles during early embryogenesis in C. elegans. The degradation of proteins through ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis has been previously shown to regulate the cell cycle and AP axis formation in the C. elegans zygote. Our analysis of PAM-1 requirements shows that a puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase is also required for proteolytic regulation of the oocyte to embryo transition.


    • Accepted September 6, 2006.
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