Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


The importance of 14-3-3 (YWHA) proteins in mammalian reproduction and fertility

Event Name/Location

29th Annual Graduate Research Symposium - Sharing the Vision: A Community of Research / Kent State University

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date



The 14-3-3 (YWHA) is a highly conserved, ubiquitously expressed protein family regulating important cellular processes including cell cycle. In this study, all seven mammalian 14-3-3 isoforms were identified in mouse eggs and ovarian follicular cells including oocytes, by Western blotting. Immunocytochemistry confirmed presence of all 14-3-3 isoforms in oocytes and eggs with characteristic similarities and differences in their distributions. Protein 14-3-3 eta was observed to accumulate and co-localize with alpha-tubulin at both meiosis I and II spindles during mouse oocyte maturation in vivo and in vitro. This protein was noted to interact directly with alpha-tubulin with an accumulation of the interactions at meiotic spindles, detected by in situ Proximity Ligation Assay. In a significant 76% of mouse oocytes microinjected with a morpholino oligonucleotide against 14-3-3 eta mRNA, meiotic spindles were deformed or absent with clumped chromosomes, no accumulation of 14-3-3 eta and no polar body formation. Control eggs showed normal, bipolar spindles with accumulation of 14-3-3 eta. Therefore, 14-3-3 eta is essential for normal meiotic spindle formation during mouse oocyte maturation, in part by interacting with alpha-tubulin to regulate the assembly of microtubules. The work helps to elucidate the roles of 14-3-3 proteins in mammalian oogenesis, reproductive development and fertility.

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