Nucleoporin35 is a novel microtubule associated protein functioning in oocyte meiotic spindle architecture

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Nucleoporins (Nups) are a large and diverse family of proteins that mediate nucleocytoplasmic transport at interphase of vertebrate cells. Nups also function in mitosis progression. However, whether Nups are involved in oocyte meiosis progression is still rarely known. In this study, we delineated the roles and regulatory mechanisms of Nucleoporin35 (Nup35) during oocyte meiotic maturation. The immunofluorescent signal of Nup35 was localized in the nuclear membrane at germinal vesicle (GV) stage, the microtubules and spindle at pro-metaphase I (pro-MI), metaphase I (MI), and metaphase II (MII), but to the spindle poles at anaphase I (AI) and telophase I (TI). The dynamic localization pattern of Nup35 during oocyte meiotic maturation implied its specific roles. We also found that Nup35 existed as a putatively phosphorylated form after resumption of meiosis (GVBD), but not at GV stage, implying its functional switch from nuclear membrane to meiotic progression. Further study uncovered that knockdown of Nup35 by specific siRNA significantly compromised the extrusion of first polar body (PBE), but not GVBD, with defects of spindle assembly and chromosome alignment and dissociated some localization signal of p-ERK1/2 from spindle poles to cytoplasm. A defective kinetochore - microtubule attachment (K-MT) was also identified in oocytes after knockdown of Nup35, which activates spindle assembly checkpoint. In conclusion, our results suggest that Nup35 is putatively phosphorylated and released to the cytoplasm after resumption of meiosis, and regulates spindle assembly and chromosome alignment.

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