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Keywords:

  • histone deacetylation;
  • maternal histone deacetylase;
  • nuclear material;
  • oocyte maturation;
  • Xenopus laevis

In oocyte maturation in Xenopus laevis, nuclear material induces rapid maturation and is required for entry into meiosis II. Nuclear material contains a large number of RNAs and proteins, including histone deacetylase (HDAC); however, it is not known which materials induce accelerated maturation. The HDAC activity modifies transcription rate and is required for normal meiosis; however, its function in oocyte maturation is still unclear. We investigated the function of HDAC activity, which is localized in the nuclear material, in the regulation of the speed of oocyte maturation. Inhibition of HDAC activity with trichostatin A (TSA) induced hyperacetylation of histone H3 and prolonged oocyte maturation. In contrast, increase in HDAC activity with an injection of FLAG-tagged maternal histone deacetylase (HDACm-FLAG) mRNA induced deacetylation of histone H3 and reduced the duration of oocyte maturation. Cdc2 kinase, Cdc25C or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), which are key regulators of the meiosis, were activated coincidently with maturation progression. In oocytes, the mRNA level of Cdc25C, an activator of Cdc2, was increased by HDACm-FLAG mRNA-injection; in contrast, the mRNA level of Cdc2 inhibitor Wee1 was increased by TSA treatment. These results suggest that HDAC activity is involved in the control of maturation speed through the regulation of mRNA levels of cell cycle regulators. Thus, HDACm is a candidate for the nuclear material component that induces rapid maturation in Xenopus oocytes.