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Biol Reprod May 1, 2019; 100 (5): 1238-1249.

X-linked α-thalassemia with mental retardation is downstream of protein kinase A in the meiotic cell cycle signaling cascade in Xenopus oocytes and is dynamically regulated in response to DNA damage†.

O'Shea LC , Fair T , Hensey C .

X-linked α-thalassemia with mental retardation (ATRX) is a chromatin remodeling protein that belongs to the SWItch/sucrose non-fermentable (SWI2/SNF2) family of helicase/ATPases. During meiosis, ATRX is necessary for heterochromatin formation and maintenance of chromosome stability in order to ensure proper assembly of the metaphase II spindle. Previously, we established ATRX as a novel progesterone regulated protein during bovine meiotic maturation, in addition to being dynamically regulated in response to DNA damage in oocytes. In the present study, we utilize the Xenopus laevis model system to further elucidate the signaling pathways regulating ATRX expression within the oocyte. Here, we present an analysis of endogenous ATRX protein expression during oogenesis, oocyte meiotic maturation, and early embryonic development. ATRX expression is dynamically regulated as evidenced by loss of the protein in metaphase II of meiosis. The downstream activation of meiosis via protein kinase A inhibition resulted in a similar decrease in ATRX protein expression. We demonstrate that the ATRX protein is detected in ubiquitin immuno-precipitates from germinal vesicle oocyte extracts and experimentally demonstrate that proteosomal degradation is responsible for the decreased expression of ATRX during meiosis. ATRX expression is significantly increased in response to gamma-irradiation induced DNA damage in oocytes and embryos. This increased expression is independent of p53 protein expression in apoptotic embryos, as determined by the expression of active caspase-3. Thus, regulation of ATRX protein expression impacts on G2-M progression and ultimately has consequences for cell survival.

PubMed ID: 30649195
Article link: Biol Reprod

Genes referenced: atrx tp53
GO keywords: DNA damage checkpoint [+]

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