Background: Starfish oocytes are arrested at the first prophase of meiosis until they are stimulated by 1-methyladenine (1-MA). The two most immediate responses to the maturation-inducing hormone are the quick release of intracellular Ca2+ and the accelerated changes of the actin cytoskeleton in the cortex. Compared with the later events of oocyte maturation such as germinal vesicle breakdown, the molecular mechanisms underlying the early events involving Ca2+ signaling and actin changes are poorly understood. Herein, we have studied the roles of G-proteins in the early stage of meiotic maturation. Methodology/Principal Findings: By microinjecting starfish oocytes with nonhydrolyzable nucleotides that stabilize either active (GTPγS) or inactive (GDPβS) forms of G-proteins, we have demonstrated that: i) GTPγS induces Ca2+ release that mimics the effect of 1-MA; ii) GDPβS completely blocks 1-MA-induced Ca2+; iii) GDPβS has little effect on the amplitude of the Ca2+ peak, but significantly expedites the initial Ca2+ waves induced by InsP3 photoactivation, iv) GDPβS induces unexpectedly striking modification of the cortical actin networks, suggesting a link between the cytoskeletal change and the modulation of the Ca2+ release kinetics; v) alteration of cortical actin networks with jasplakinolide, GDPβS, or actinase E, all led to significant changes of 1-MA-induced Ca2+ signaling. Conclusions/Significance: Taken together, these results indicate that G-proteins are implicated in the early events of meiotic maturation and support our previous proposal that the dynamic change of the actin cytoskeleton may play a regulatory role in modulating intracellular Ca2+ release.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)