Growth factor receptor-bound protein 14: a potential new gene associated with oocyte competence

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The Grb14 protein is a member of the Grb7 protein family. This protein family acts by binding to tyrosine kinase receptors, promoting cell proliferation and differentiation. There is evidence of the involvement of tyrosine kinase factors in the bovine oocyte maturation process. However, Grb14 has not been studied for bovine cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs). The aim of the present study was to characterize Grb14 mRNA expression in bovine COCs during follicular development. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the expression of Grb14 mRNA is not regulated by estradiol. mRNA expression of Grb14 was assessed in 480 COCs from follicles of different sizes (1–3, 4–6, 6–8 or >8 mm) by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Grb14 mRNA expression decreased in COCs throughout follicular growth (P < 0.05). The role of estradiol in the expression of Grb14 mRNA in COCs was studied. Grb14 mRNA abundance did not differ in COCs cultured in the presence or absence of 17β-estradiol or fulvestrant. In conclusion, we showed that Grb14 mRNA is downregulated in COCs during antral follicle development, a finding that suggests a role for Grb14 in oocyte competence.

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