Membrane Microdomains as Platform to Study Membrane-Associated Events During Oogenesis, Meiotic Maturation, and Fertilization in Xenopus laevis
Studies on the egg plasma membrane-associated tyrosine kinase Src have shed light on the identity of the molecular machinery that is responsible for gamete interaction and possibly fusion in African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. Here we describe our protocol for identifying and analyzing molecular and cellular machinery that contributes to a variety of biological processes in the course of oogenesis, oocyte maturation, egg fertilization, and early embryogenesis in Xenopus. Our current special interest is to evaluate the hypothesis that the oocyte/egg membrane microdomain (MD)-associated uroplakin III-Src system is responsible for mediating sperm-egg membrane interaction/fusion signal to the oocyte/egg cytoplasm to initiate embryonic and zygotic development in this species. Therefore, this chapter contains a brief introduction to biology of oocytes and eggs in Xenopus and addresses the following questions: (1) What is oocyte/egg MD? (2) Why do we study oocyte/egg MD? (3) How to manipulate oocyte/egg MD? (4) What has been achieved by oocyte/egg MD studies? (5) What are the next steps in oocyte/egg MD studies?
Key wordsAfrican clawed frog Signal transduction Src Tyrosine phosphorylation Uroplakin III
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