Nampt-mediated spindle sizing secures a post-anaphase increase in spindle speed required for extreme asymmetry

Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 7;11(1):3393. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17088-6.


Meiotic divisions in oocytes are extremely asymmetric and require pre- and post-anaphase-onset phases of spindle migration. The latter induces membrane protrusion that is moulded around the spindle thereby reducing cytoplasmic loss. Here, we find that depleting the NAD biosynthetic enzyme, nicotinamide phosphoribosyl-transferase (Nampt), in mouse oocytes results in markedly longer spindles and compromises asymmetry. By analysing spindle speed in live oocytes, we identify a striking and transient acceleration after anaphase-onset that is severely blunted following Nampt-depletion. Slow-moving midzones of elongated spindles induce cortical furrowing deep within the oocyte before protrusions can form, altogether resulting in larger oocyte fragments being cleaved off. Additionally, we find that Nampt-depletion lowers NAD and ATP levels and that reducing NAD using small molecule Nampt inhibitors also compromises asymmetry. These data show that rapid midzone displacement is critical for extreme asymmetry by delaying furrowing to enable protrusions to form and link metabolic status to asymmetric division.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Anaphase*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Meiosis
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • NAD / chemistry
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Oocytes / cytology*
  • Spindle Apparatus*


  • Actins
  • Cytokines
  • NAD
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, mouse