Background: Successful transition from oocyte to zygote depends on the timely degradation of oocyte proteins to prepare for embryonic development. In C. elegans, degradation of the oocyte protein MEI-1 depends on MBK-2, a kinase that phosphorylates MEI-1 shortly after fertilization during the second meiotic division. Results: Here we report that precise timing of MEI-1 phosphorylation depends on the cell cycle-regulated release of MBK-2 from the cortex. Prior to the meiotic divisions, MBK-2 is tethered at the cortex by EGG-3, an oocyte protein required for egg activation (see , accompanying paper in this issue). During the meiotic divisions, EGG-3 is internalized and degraded in an APC/C (anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome)-dependent manner. EGG-3 internalization and degradation correlate with MBK-2 release from the cortex and MEI-1 phosphorylation in the cytoplasm. In an egg-3 mutant, MEI-1 is phosphorylated and degraded prematurely. Conclusion: We suggest that successful transition from an oocyte to a zygote depends on the cell cycle-regulated relocalization of key regulators from the cortex to the cytoplasm of the egg.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)