Septin 7 is a conserved GTP-binding protein. In this study, we examined the localization and functions of Septin 7 during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. Immunofluorescent analysis showed that intrinsic Septin 7 localized to the spindles from the pro-MI stage to the MII stage. Knockdown of Septin 7 by siRNA microinjection caused abnormal spindles and affected extrusion of the first polar body. Septin 7 mRNA tagged with myc was injected into GV stage oocytes to overexpress Septin 7. Overexpressed Myc-Septin 7 localized to the spindle and beneath the plasma membrane displaying long filaments. Fluorescence intensity of spindle α-tubulin in myc-Septin 7-injected oocytes was weaker than that of the control group, demonstrating that Septin 7 may influence recruitment of α-tubulin to spindles. MII oocytes injected with myc-Septin 7 exhibited abnormal chromosome alignment, and parthenogenetic activation failed to allow extrusion of the second polar body, suggesting that overexpression of Septin 7 may affect extrusion of the polar body by disturbing the alignment of chromosomes and regulating α-tubulin recruitment to spindles. In summary, Septin 7 may regulate meiotic cell cycle progression by affecting microtubule cytoskeletal dynamics in mouse oocytes.
- Septin 7