Indexed on: 20 Nov '12Published on: 20 Nov '12Published in: Histochemistry and cell biology
WASP homolog associated with actin, membranes and microtubules (WHAMM) is a newly discovered nucleation-promoting factor that links actin and microtubule cytoskeleton and regulates transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus. However, knowledge of WHAMM is limited to interphase somatic cells. In this study, we examined its localization and function in mouse oocytes during meiosis. Immunostaining showed that in the germinal vesicle (GV) stage, there was no WHAMM signal; after meiosis resumption, WHAMM was associated with the spindle at prometaphase I (Pro MI), metaphase I (MI), telophase I (TI) and metaphase II (MII) stages. Nocodazole and taxol treatments showed that WHAMM was localized around the MI spindle. Depletion of WHAMM by microinjection of specific short interfering (si)RNA into the oocyte cytoplasm resulted in failure of spindle migration, disruption of asymmetric cytokinesis and a decrease in the first polar body extrusion rate during meiotic maturation. Moreover, actin cap formation was also disrupted after WHAMM depletion, confirming the failure of spindle migration. Taken together, our data suggest that WHAMM is required for peripheral spindle migration and asymmetric cytokinesis during mouse oocyte maturation.