, Volume 384, Issue 4-5, pp 439-449

The nme gene family in zebrafish oogenesis and early development

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Abstract

After the recent report of the expression of several nme genes in the zebrafish gonads, the present study aimed at further analyzing the expression of nme genes in the ovary with special attention for the nme transcripts that are maternally inherited and could thus participate in the determination of oocyte developmental competence. The expression levels of all groups I and II nme genes were characterized by QPCR in a panel of zebrafish tissues. The nme genes exhibiting an ovarian expression were subsequently monitored throughout oogenesis and early development, and their expression sites characterized using in situ hybridization. Here, we show that nme2b1, nme3, nme4, and nme6 are highly expressed in the ovary and present in the zebrafish oocyte throughout oogenesis. While the four transcripts are maternally inherited, nme3 and nme6 display a typical maternal profile and are detected in the zebrafish early embryo. In contrast to nme3, nme6, abundance exhibits a sharp decrease during early embryogenesis. After zygotic genome activation, we observed an increased expression of nme2b1, nme2b2, nme3, and nme6. The present study provides a comprehensive overview of the expression of nme family members during zebrafish oogenesis and early development. In addition, the maternal origin of two nme transcripts in the early embryo is reported here for the first time in any vertebrate species. Together, our observations suggest an important role of the nme family in oocyte and embryo development in vertebrates.