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Dev Biol 2005 Dec 15;2882:514-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.10.034.
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Calcium signaling differentiation during Xenopus oocyte maturation.

El-Jouni W , Jang B , Haun S , Machaca K .

Ca(2+) is the universal signal for egg activation at fertilization in all sexually reproducing species. The Ca(2+) signal at fertilization is necessary for egg activation and exhibits specialized spatial and temporal dynamics. Eggs acquire the ability to produce the fertilization-specific Ca(2+) signal during oocyte maturation. However, the mechanisms regulating Ca(2+) signaling differentiation during oocyte maturation remain largely unknown. At fertilization, Xenopus eggs produce a cytoplasmic Ca(2+) (Ca(2+)(cyt)) rise that lasts for several minutes, and is required for egg activation. Here, we show that during oocyte maturation Ca(2+) transport effectors are tightly modulated. The plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPase (PMCA) is completely internalized during maturation, and is therefore unable to extrude Ca(2+) out of the cell. Furthermore, IP(3)-dependent Ca(2+) release is required for the sustained Ca(2+)(cyt) rise in eggs, showing that Ca(2+) that is pumped into the ER leaks back out through IP(3) receptors. This apparent futile cycle allows eggs to maintain elevated cytoplasmic Ca(2+) despite the limited available Ca(2+) in intracellular stores. Therefore, Ca(2+) signaling differentiates in a highly orchestrated fashion during Xenopus oocyte maturation endowing the egg with the capacity to produce a sustained Ca(2+)(cyt) transient at fertilization, which defines the egg's competence to activate and initiate embryonic development.

PubMed ID: 16330019
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus