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Abstract

Centrioles must be eliminated or inactivated from the oocyte to ensure that only the two functional centrioles contributed by the sperm are present in the zygote. Such removal can occur during oogenesis, as in Drosophila, where departure of Polo kinase from centrosomes leads to loss of microtubule nucleating activity and centriole removal. In other species, oocyte-derived centrioles are removed around the time of fertilization through in-completely understood mechanisms. Here, we use confocal imaging of live starfish oocytes and zygotes expressing markers of microtubule nucleating activity and centrioles to investigate this question. We first assay the role of Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) in centriole elimination. We find that although Plk1 localizes around oocyte-derived centrioles, kinase impairment with BI-2536 does not protect centrioles from removal in the bat star Patiria miniata. Moreover, we uncover that all four oocyte-derived centrioles lose microtubule nucleating activity when retained experimentally in the zygote of the radiate star Asterias forbesi. Interestingly, two such centrioles nevertheless retain the centriolar markers mEGFP::PACT and pmPoc1::mEGFP. Together, these findings indicate that centrioles can persist when Plk1 activity is impaired, as well as when microtubule nucleating activity is lacking, uncovering further diversity in the mechanisms governing centriole removal.

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