Ribosomal RNA and nucleolar proteins from the oocyte are to some degree used for embryonic nucleolar formation in cattle and pig

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The nucleolus is the site of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and ribosome production. In the bovine primordial follicle oocyte, this organelle is inactive, but in the secondary follicle an active fibrillo-granular nucleolus develops and proteins involved in rDNA transcription (topoisomerase I, RNA polymerase I and upstream binding factor) and early (fibrillarin) or late rRNA processing (nucleolin and nucleophosmin) localize to it. At the end of the oocyte growth phase, the nucleolus is inactivated again and transforms into a solid remnant. The nucleolar remnant is dissolved when meiosis is resumed. Upon fertilization, structures resembling the nucleolar remnant, now referred to as nucleolus precursor bodies (NPBs), are established in the pronuclei. These entities are engaged in the re-establishment of fibrilo-granular nucleoli at the major activation of the embryonic genome. This nucleolar formation can be classified into two different modes: one where nucleolus development occurs inside NPBs (internal; e.g. cattle) and the other where it occurs on the surface of NPBs (external; e.g. pig). Oocyte derived proteins engaged in late rRNA processing (nucleolin and nucleophosmin) may to some degree be re-used for nucleolar formation in the embryo, while the other nucleolar proteins require de novo embryonic transcription in order to be allocated to the developing nucleoli. Moreover, unprocessed rRNA inherited from the oocyte targets to the developing embryonic nucleoli. In conclusion, the nucleolus is important for the development of oocytes and embryos and may serve as a marker for the completion of oocyte growh and the normality of activation of the embryonic genome.
Original languageEnglish
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Pages (from-to)S63-S70
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • LIFE - Cattle, Pig, Oocyte, Transcription, Fertilization

ID: 8078349