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Dev Biol November 15, 2000; 227 (2): 706-19.

The temporal control of Wee1 mRNA translation during Xenopus oocyte maturation is regulated by cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements within the 3''-untranslated region.

The Wee1 protein tyrosine kinase is a key regulator of cell cycle progression. Wee1 activity is necessary for the control of the first embryonic cell cycle following the fertilization of meiotically mature Xenopus oocytes. Wee1 mRNA is present in immature oocytes, but Wee1 protein does not accumulate in immature oocytes or during the early stages of progesterone-stimulated maturation. This delay in Wee1 translation is critical since premature Wee1 protein accumulation has been shown to inhibit oocyte maturation. In this study we provide evidence that Wee1 protein accumulation is regulated at the level of mRNA translation. This translational control is directed by sequences within the Wee1 mRNA 3''-untranslated region (3'' UTR). Specifically, cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE) sequences within the Wee1 3'' UTR are necessary for full translational repression in immature oocytes. Our data further indicate that while CPE-independent mechanisms may regulate the levels of Wee1 protein accumulation during progesterone-stimulated oocyte maturation, the timing of Wee1 mRNA translational induction is directed through a CPE-dependent mechanism.

PubMed ID: 11071785
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: wee1