- Publication date : 2013-07-17
Santiquet N, Robert C, Richard FJ. The dynamics of connexin expression, degradation and localisation are regulated by gonadotropins during the early stages of in vitro maturation of swine oocytes. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e68456. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068456. PubMed PMID: 23861906.
animals cell communication cells, cultured connexin 43 connexins cumulus cells female gap junctions gene expression regulation, developmental gonadotropins, equine horses oocytes oogenesis protein stability proteolysis signal transduction swine
Gap junctional communication (GJC) plays a primordial role in oocyte maturation and meiotic resumption in mammals by directing the transfer of numerous molecules between cumulus cells and the oocyte. Gap junctions are made of connexins (Cx), proteins that regulate GJC in numerous ways. Understanding the dynamic regulation of connexin arrangements during in vitro maturation (IVM) could provide a powerful tool for controlling meiotic resumption and consequently in vitro development of fully competent oocytes. However, physiological events happening during the early hours of IVM may still be elucidated. The present study reports the dynamic regulation of connexin expression, degradation and localization during this stage. Cx43, Cx45 and Cx60 were identified as the main connexins expressed in swine COC. Cx43 and Cx45 transcripts were judged too static to be a regulator of GJC, while Cx43 protein expression was highly responsive to gonadotropins, suggesting that it might be the principal regulator of GJC. In addition, the degradation of Cx43 expressed after 4.5 h of IVM in response to equine chorionic gonadotropin appeared to involve the proteasomal complex. Cx43 localisation appeared to be associated with GJC. Taken together, these results show for the first time that gonadotropins regulate Cx43 protein expression, degradation and localisation in porcine COC during the first several hours of IVM. Regulation of Cx43 may in turn, via GJC, participate in the development of fully competent oocytes.