Identification and dynamics of Cajal bodies in relation to karyosphere formation in scorpionfly oocytes
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In oocyte nuclei of the scorpionfly, Panorpa communis, we have recently defined a population of nuclear bodies (NBs) that contain some components of Cajal bodies (CBs). In the present study, we used several criteria [presence of coilin, U7 snRNA, RNA polymerase II (pol II) and specific ultrastructure] to identify these NBs as CBs. The essential evidence for CB identification came from experiments with microinjection of fluorescein-tagged U7 snRNA. Consistent with the U7 data, we found pol II and pre-mRNA splicing factor, SC35, in Panorpa oocyte CBs. We show here that the dynamics of CBs differs from that in somatic cells and correlates with the level of oocyte chromosome condensation. We also found that the significant increase of CB size is accompanied by condensation of the chromosomes in the karyosphere, which is indicative of a decline in transcription. Using immunogold microscopy we determined that pol II and coilin are shared by CBs and the granular material associated with condensed chromosomes in the Panorpa karyosphere. The colocalization of pol II, U7 snRNA and splicing factors with CBs at the inactive stage of late oogenesis suggests that the latter may serve as storage domains for components that were earlier engaged in RNA transcription and processing.