The dynamics of plasma membrane Ptdlns(4,5)P2 at fertilization of mouse eggs

Guillaume Halet, Richard Tunwell, Tamas Balla, Karl Swann, John Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


A series of intracellular Ca2+ oscillations are responsible for triggering egg activation and cortical granule exocytosis at fertilization in mammals. These Ca2+ oscillations are generated by an increase in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate [Ins(1,4,5)P3], which results from the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2]. Using confocal imaging to simultaneously monitor Ca2+ and plasma membrane PtdIns(4,5)P2 in single living mouse eggs we have sought to establish the relationship between the kinetics of PtdIns(4,5)P2 metabolism and the Ca2+ oscillations at fertilization. We report that there is no detectable net loss of plasma membrane PtdIns(4,5)P2 either during the latent period or during the subsequent Ca2+ oscillations. When phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase is inhibited with micromolar wortmannin a limited decrease in plasma membrane PtdIns(4,5)P2 is detected in half the eggs studied. Although we were unable to detect a widespread loss of PtdIns(4,5)P2, we found that fertilization triggers a net increase in plasma membrane PtdIns(4,5)P2 that is localized to the vegetal cortex. The fertilization- induced increase in PtdIns(4,5)P2 follows the increase in Ca2+, is blocked by Ca2+ buffers and can be mimicked, albeit with slower kinetics, by photoreleasing Ins(1,4,5)P3. Inhibition of Ca2+-dependent exocytosis of cortical granules, without interfering with Ca2+ transients, inhibits the PtdIns(4,5)P2 increase. The increase appears to be due to de novo synthesis since it is inhibited by micromolar wortmannin. Finally, there is no increase in PtdIns(4,5)P2 in immature oocytes that are not competent to extrude cortical granules. These studies suggest that fertilization does not deplete plasma membrane PtdIns(4,5)P2 and that one of the pathways for increasing PtdIns(4,5)P2 at fertilization is invoked by exocytosis of cortical granules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2139-2149
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • GFP
  • Oocyte
  • Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate

Cite this