Two PAR6 proteins become asymmetrically localized during establishment of polarity in mouse oocytes

Curr Biol. 2004 Mar 23;14(6):520-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2004.02.061.


Meiotic maturation in mammals is characterized by two asymmetric divisions, leading to the formation of two polar bodies and the female gamete. Whereas the mouse oocyte is a polarized cell, molecules implicated in the establishment of this polarity are still unknown. PAR proteins have been demonstrated to play an important role in cell polarity in many cell types, where they control spindle positioning and asymmetric distribution of determinants. Here we show that two PAR6-related proteins have distinct polarized distributions in mouse oocytes. mPARD6a is first localized on the spindle and then accumulates at the pole nearest the cortex during spindle migration. In the absence of microtubules, the chromosomes still migrate to the cortex, and mPARD6a was found associated with the chromosomes and was facing the cortex. mPARD6a is the first identified protein to associate with the spindle during spindle migration and to relocalize to the chromosomes in the absence of microtubule behavior, suggesting a role in spindle migration. The other protein, mPARD6b, was found on spindle microtubules until entry into meiosis II and relocalized to the cortex at the animal pole during metaphase II arrest. mPARD6b is the first identified protein to localize to the animal pole of the mouse oocyte and likely contributes to the polarization of the cortex.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity / physiology*
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian / metabolism
  • DNA Primers
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Microinjections
  • Models, Biological*
  • Oocytes / metabolism*
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism


  • DNA Primers
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger