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Specific deletion of Cdc42 does not affect meiotic spindle organization/migration and homologous chromosome segregation but disrupts polarity establishment and cytokinesis in mouse oocytes

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      Oocyte-specific deletion of Cdc42 has little effect on meiotic spindle organization and migration to the cortex but inhibits polar body emission, although homologous chromosome segregation occurs. The failure of cytokinesis is due to loss of polarized Arp2/3 accumulation and actin cap formation, and thus the defective contract ring.


      Mammalian oocyte maturation is distinguished by highly asymmetric meiotic divisions during which a haploid female gamete is produced and almost all the cytoplasm is maintained in the egg for embryo development. Actin-dependent meiosis I spindle positioning to the cortex induces the formation of a polarized actin cap and oocyte polarity, and it determines asymmetric divisions resulting in two polar bodies. Here we investigate the functions of Cdc42 in oocyte meiotic maturation by oocyte-specific deletion of Cdc42 through Cre-loxP conditional knockout technology. We find that Cdc42 deletion causes female infertility in mice. Cdc42 deletion has little effect on meiotic spindle organization and migration to the cortex but inhibits polar body emission, although homologous chromosome segregation occurs. The failure of cytokinesis is due to the loss of polarized Arp2/3 accumulation and actin cap formation; thus the defective contract ring. In addition, we correlate active Cdc42 dynamics with its function during polar body emission and find a relationship between Cdc42 and polarity, as well as polar body emission, in mouse oocytes.

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      Most cited references 48

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      Rho GTPases and actin dynamics in membrane protrusions and vesicle trafficking.

      Rho GTPases are well known to regulate actin dynamics. They activate two types of actin nucleators, WASP/WAVE proteins and Diaphanous-related formins (DRFs), which induce different types of actin organization. Their ability to interact with membranes allows them to target actin polymerization to discrete sites on the plasma membrane and to intracellular membrane compartments and thereby induce membrane protrusions or regulate vesicle movement. Most studies have concentrated on just three of the 22 mammalian Rho proteins, RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42. However, recent research indicates that several other members of the Rho family, including Rif, RhoD, TC10 and Wrch1, and also related Rho-of-plants proteins (ROPs) in plants, stimulate actin polymerization and affect plasma membrane protrusion and/or vesicular traffic.
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        Is Open Access

        Cdc42 controls spindle orientation to position the apical surface during epithelial morphogenesis

        The establishment of apical–basal polarity within a single cell and throughout a growing tissue is a key feature of epithelial morphogenesis. To examine the underlying mechanisms, the human intestinal epithelial cell line Caco-2 was grown in a three-dimensional matrix to generate a cystlike structure, where the apical surface of each epithelial cell faces a fluid-filled central lumen. A discrete apical domain is established as early as the first cell division and between the two daughter cells. During subsequent cell divisions, the apical domain of each daughter cell is maintained at the center of the growing structure through a combination of mitotic spindle orientation and asymmetric abscission. Depletion of Cdc42 does not prevent the establishment of apical–basal polarity in individual cells but rather disrupts spindle orientation, leading to inappropriate positioning of apical surfaces within the cyst. We conclude that Cdc42 regulates epithelial tissue morphogenesis by controlling spindle orientation during cell division.
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          Human Ect2 Is an Exchange Factor for Rho Gtpases, Phosphorylated in G2/M Phases, and Involved in Cytokinesis

          Animal cells divide into two daughter cells by the formation of an actomyosin-based contractile ring through a process called cytokinesis. Although many of the structural elements of cytokinesis have been identified, little is known about the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying this process. Here we show that the human ECT2 is involved in the regulation of cytokinesis. ECT2 catalyzes guanine nucleotide exchange on the small GTPases, RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42. ECT2 is phosphorylated during G2 and M phases, and phosphorylation is required for its exchange activity. Unlike other known guanine nucleotide exchange factors for Rho GTPases, ECT2 exhibits nuclear localization in interphase, spreads throughout the cytoplasm in prometaphase, and is condensed in the midbody during cytokinesis. Expression of an ECT2 derivative, containing the NH2-terminal domain required for the midbody localization but lacking the COOH-terminal catalytic domain, strongly inhibits cytokinesis. Moreover, microinjection of affinity-purified anti-ECT2 antibody into interphase cells also inhibits cytokinesis. These results suggest that ECT2 is an important link between the cell cycle machinery and Rho signaling pathways involved in the regulation of cell division.

            Author and article information

            aState Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
            bUniversity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
            cMolecular Pathology Section, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Biotech Research and Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
            dDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
            Carnegie Institution
            Author notes
            1Address correspondence to: Qing-Yuan Sun ( sunqy@ ).
            Role: Monitoring Editor
            Mol Biol Cell
            Mol. Biol. Cell
            Mol. Bio. Cell
            Molecular Biology of the Cell
            The American Society for Cell Biology
            15 December 2013
            : 24
            : 24
            : 3832-3841
            (Monitoring Editor)
            © 2013 Wang et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

            “ASCB®,” “The American Society for Cell Biology®,” and “Molecular Biology of the Cell®” are registered trademarks of The American Society of Cell Biology.

            Cell Cycle

            Molecular biology


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