A role of Pumilio 1 in mammalian oocyte maturation and maternal phase of embryogenesis

Winifred Mak, Jing Xia, Ee Chun Cheng, Katie Lowther, Haifan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: RNA binding proteins play a pivotal role during the oocyte-to-embryo transition and maternal phase of embryogenesis in invertebrates, but their function in these processes in mammalian systems remain largely understudied. Results: Here we report that a member of the Pumilio/FBF family of RNA binding proteins in mice, Pumilio 1 (Pum1), is a maternal effect gene. The absence of maternal PUM1 in the oocyte does not affect meiotic maturation but leads to abnormal preimplantation development. Furthermore, genome-wide transcriptome analysis of oocytes and embryos revealed that there is a concomitant perturbation of the mRNA milieu. Of note, putative PUM1 mRNA targets were equally perturbed as non-direct targets, which indicates that PUM1 regulates the stability of maternal mRNAs both directly and indirectly. We show Cdk1 mRNA, a known PUM1 target essential for meiosis and preimplantation development, is not degraded appropriately during meiosis, leading to an increase in CDK1 protein in mature oocytes, which indicates that PUM1 post-transcriptionally regulates Cdk1 mRNA; this could partially explain the observed abnormal preimplantation development. Furthermore, our results show that maternal and zygotic PUM1 are required for postnatal survival. Conclusions: These findings indicate that PUM1 is essential in the process of cytoplasmic maturation and developmental competence of the oocyte. These results reveal an important function of maternal PUM1 as a post-transcriptional regulator during mammalian embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalCell and Bioscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 19 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Oocyte maturation
  • Post-transcriptional regulation
  • Preimplantation embryo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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