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Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation

Rachel K Miller
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Takayuki Sakurai, Takayuki Shindo, Masahiro Sato
Mammalian early embryogenesis is supported by maternal factors, such as messenger RNA (mRNA) and proteins, produced and accumulated during oogenesis at least up to the stage when zygotic activation commences. These maternal factors are involved in biologically important events such as epigenetic activation, reprogramming, and mitochondrial growth. Most of these maternal mRNAs are degraded by the 2-cell to 4 ~ 8-cell stages. Maternal proteins, which are produced during oogenesis or by the maternal mRNAs, are degraded by the 4 ~ 8-cell stage...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Antonio Marco
Proteins and RNA molecules are deposited into the developing egg by the mother. These gene products will drive the first stages of development and are coded by maternal genes. Maternal genes are essential, yet, despite their importance, their evolutionary dynamics is largely unknown. Here I review the current knowledge of maternal gene evolution. The evolutionary origin of maternal genes tends to be more recent than that of zygotic genes. Some studies support the theoretical prediction that maternal genes evolve faster than zygotic genes...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Maria Giovanna Riparbelli, Marco Gottardo, Giuliano Callaini
Building a new organism usually requires the contribution of two differently shaped haploid cells, the male and female gametes, each providing its genetic material to restore diploidy of the new born zygote. The successful execution of this process requires defined sequential steps that must be completed in space and time. Otherwise, development fails. Relevant among the earlier steps are pronuclear migration and formation of the first mitotic spindle that promote the mixing of parental chromosomes and the formation of the zygotic nucleus...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Leonardo L Fruttero, Jimena Leyria, Lilián E Canavoso
In insect physiology, the mechanisms involved in the buildup and regulation of yolk proteins in developing oocytes have been thoroughly researched during the last three decades. Comparatively, the study of lipid metabolism in oocytes had received less attention. The importance of this issue lies in the fact that lipids make up to 40% of the dry weight of an insect egg, being the most important supply of energy for the developing embryo. Since the oocyte has a very limited capacity to synthesize lipids de novo, most of the lipids in the mature eggs arise from the circulation...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Hongyan Li, Shicui Zhang
Our understanding of the functions of vitellogenin (Vtg) in reproduction has undergone an evolutionary transformation over the past decade. Primarily, Vtg was regarded as a female-specific reproductive protein, which is cleaved into yolk proteins including phosvitin (Pv) and lipovitellin (Lv), stored in eggs, providing the nutrients for early embryos. Recently, Vtg has been shown to be an immunocomponent factor capable of protecting the host against the attack by microbes including bacteria and viruses. Moreover, Pv and Lv that both are proteolytically cleaved products of maternal Vtg, as well as Pv-derived small peptides, all display an antibacterial role in developing embryos...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Wilding Martin
The sole purpose of any mammalian oocyte is to combine with a spermatozoon and form a viable embryo that implants into the uterus and forms a viable foetus. Most of the structures and mechanisms for this reside within the oocyte itself. The sperm limits itself to fertilisation of the oocyte; apart from this, its only contribution is the male genome and the centrosome, required for cell division. Both intrinsic and extrinsic factors determine the formation of a viable embryo. However, the fundamental necessity for successful reproduction resides within the capacity for the developing embryo to generate sufficient levels of energy for optimal development to occur...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Jibak Lee
Germ cells, such as oocytes and spermatocytes, produce haploid gametes by a special type of cell division called meiosis. The reduction of chromosome number is achieved in meiosis I, in which homologous chromosomes (homologs) are paired and recombined with their counterparts and finally segregated from each other. How meiotic chromosomes behave in a different manner from mitotic chromosomes has been a fascinating problem for cellular and developmental biology. Cohesin and condensin are multi-subunit protein complexes that play central roles in sister chromatid cohesion and chromosome condensation (also segregation), respectively...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Mandy Yu Theng Lim, Katsutomo Okamura
Dicer is a versatile protein regulating diverse biological processes via the production of multiple classes of small regulatory RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). In this chapter, we will discuss roles for Dicer in driving temporal changes in activity of individual small RNA classes to support oogenesis and early embryogenesis. Genetic strategies that perturb particular functions of Dicer family proteins, such as ablation of individual Dicer paralogs or their binding partners as well as introduction of point mutations to individual domains, allowed the dissection of Dicer functions in diverse small RNA pathways...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Tomoya Kotani, Kaori Maehata, Natsumi Takei
From the beginning of oogenesis, oocytes accumulate tens of thousands of mRNAs for promoting oocyte growth and development. A large number of these mRNAs are translationally repressed and localized within the oocyte cytoplasm. Translational activation of these dormant mRNAs at specific sites and timings plays central roles in driving progression of the meiotic cell cycle, axis formation, mitotic cleavages, transcriptional initiation, and morphogenesis. Regulation of the localization and temporal translation of these mRNAs has been shown to rely on cis-acting elements in the mRNAs and trans-acting factors recognizing and binding to the elements...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Andrej Susor, Michal Kubelka
Fully grown oocytes arrest meiosis at prophase I and deposit maternal RNAs. A subset of maternal transcripts is stored in a dormant state in the oocyte, and the timely driven translation of specific mRNAs guides meiotic progression, the oocyte-embryo transition, and early embryo development. In the absence of transcription, the regulation of gene expression in oocytes is controlled almost exclusively at the level of transcriptome and proteome stabilization and at the level of protein synthesis.This chapter focuses on the recent findings on RNA distribution related to the temporal and spatial translational control of the meiotic cycle progression in mammalian oocytes...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
V Lodde, A M Luciano, F Franciosi, R Labrecque, M A Sirard
During growth, the oocyte accumulates mRNAs that will be required in the later stages of oogenesis and early embryogenesis until the activation of the embryonic genome. Each of these developmental stages is controlled by multiple regulatory mechanisms that ensure proper protein production. Thus mRNAs are stabilized, stored, recruited, polyadenylated, translated and/or degraded over a period of several days. As a consequence, understanding the biological significance of changes in the abundance of transcripts during oocyte growth and differentiation is rather complex...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Fatma Uysal, Saffet Ozturk
Epigenetic mechanisms play important roles in properly occurring mammalian oogenesis. One of these mechanisms is DNA methylation adding a methyl group to the fifth carbon atom of the cytosine residues using S-adenosyl-L-methionine as a methyl donor. DNA methylation generally takes place at cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) dinucleotide sites and rarely occurs at cytosine-phosphate-thymine (CpT), cytosine-phosphate-adenine (CpA), or cytosine-phosphate-cytosine sites, known as non-CpG sites. Basically, two different DNA methylation processes are identified: de novo methylation and maintenance methylation...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Denise Oh, Douglas W Houston
RNA localization is a fundamental mechanism for controlling cell structure and function. Early development in fish and amphibians requires the localization of specific mRNAs to establish the initial differences in cell fates prior to the onset of zygotic genome activation. RNA localization in these oocytes (e.g., Xenopus and zebrafish) requires that animal-vegetal polarity be established early in oogenesis, mediated by formation of the Balbiani body/mitochondrial cloud. This structure serves as a platform for assembly and transport of germline determinants to the future vegetal pole and also sets up the machinery for the localization of non-germline transcripts later in oogenesis...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Julie Jouette, Sandra Claret, Antoine Guichet
Phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) are essential membrane components. They are localized at distinct membrane domains and recruit distinct effectors; they play an important role in the maintenance of membrane identity. They are essential for many cellular functions that include membrane trafficking, cytoskeletal organization, cell polarity and tissue morphogenesis. Cell polarity is also controlled by a set of polarity proteins, the PAR proteins, well conserved among bilaterians. These proteins are part of two dynamic networks that are engaged in a mutual negative-feedback regulation...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Chandler H Goldman, Graydon B Gonsalvez
Messenger RNA (mRNA) localization is a powerful and prevalent mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation, enabling the cell to produce protein at the exact location at which it is needed. The phenomenon of mRNA localization has been observed in many types of cells in organisms ranging from yeast to man. Thus, the process appears to be widespread and highly conserved. Several model systems have been used to understand the mechanism by which mRNAs are localized. One such model, and the focus of this chapter, is the egg chamber of the female Drosophila melanogaster...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Mehrnoush Dehghani, Paul Lasko
The DEAD-box helicase Vasa (Vas) has been most extensively studied in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and numerous roles for it in germline development have been discovered. Here, we summarize the present state of knowledge about processes during oogenesis that involve Vas, as well as functions of Vas as a maternal determinant of embryonic spatial patterning and germ cell specification. We review literature that implicates Vas in Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) biogenesis in germline cells and in regulating mitosis in germline stem cells (GSCs)...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Szczepan M Bilinski, Mariusz K Jaglarz, Waclaw Tworzydlo
Animal germline cells are specified either through zygotic induction or cytoplasmic inheritance. Zygotic induction takes place in mid- or late embryogenesis and requires cell-to-cell signaling leading to the acquisition of germline fate de novo. In contrast, cytoplasmic inheritance involves formation of a specific, asymmetrically localized oocyte region, termed the germ (pole) plasm. This region contains maternally provided germline determinants (mRNAs, proteins) that are capable of inducing germline fate in a subset of embryonic cells...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Mara Clapp, Florence L Marlow
Acquisition of oocyte polarity involves complex translocation and aggregation of intracellular organelles, RNAs, and proteins, along with strict posttranscriptional regulation. While much is still unknown regarding the formation of the animal-vegetal axis, an early marker of polarity, animal models have contributed to our understanding of these early processes controlling normal oogenesis and embryo development. In recent years, it has become clear that proteins with self-assembling properties are involved in assembling discrete subcellular compartments or domains underlying subcellular asymmetries in the early mitotic and meiotic cells of the female germline...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Teresa Szklarzewicz, Anna Michalik
Many insects, on account of their unbalanced diet, live in obligate symbiotic associations with microorganisms (bacteria or yeast-like symbionts), which provide them with substances missing in the food they consume. In the body of host insect, symbiotic microorganisms may occur intracellularly (e.g., in specialized cells of mesodermal origin termed bacteriocytes, in fat body cells, in midgut epithelium) or extracellularly (e.g., in hemolymph, in midgut lumen). As a rule, symbionts are vertically transmitted to the next generation...
2017: Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation
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