Identification of YAP as sperm-PAWP’s predominant binding partner in MII-arrested oocytes and the relevance of this WWI domain modular interaction to oocyte activation
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PAWP, a candidate sperm-borne oocyte activating factor, induces oocyte activation and acts upstream of the calcium signalling pathway, however, PAWP’s downstream signalling pathway in oocyte cytoplasm remains to be uncovered. Data from our lab suggested that the interacting partner of PAWP, at least in the frog (Xenopus laevis) model may be YAP, a highly expressed protein in amphibian and mammalian oocytes. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to confirm that PAWP’s predominant binding partner in Xenopus laevis oocyte is YAP; to determine if mammalian oocyte activation is also dependent on PAWP-YAP interaction; and to verify that the PAWP-YAP interaction during oocyte activation is dependent on the WWI domain module. By immunohistochemistry, YAP was localized predominantly in the cytosol of metaphase II-arrested Xenopus laevis oocytes, where presumably the PAWP-YAP interaction occurs. Utilizing Far Western blotting, YAP was identified as the predominant binding partner of PAWP, in metaphase II-arrested frog (Xenopus laevis), swine (Sus scrofa) and mouse (mus musculus) oocytes. The specificity of this interaction was then tested on Far Western blotting of mouse ovarian and oocyte cytosolic extracts, by competition with both wild-type and point-mutated recombinant WWI domains derived from YAP. The removal of GST from the wild-type WWI-GST fusion protein was a requirement for effective blockage of WWI module interaction between PAWP and YAP. As expected, the mutated WWI domain was ineffective in inhibiting the PAWP-YAP interaction. To conclude, this study identified YAP as the predominant binding partner of PAWP in both amphibian and mammalian oocytes, and showed this interaction is dependent on the WWI modular interaction. The results allow us to test the functional relevance of this WWI modular interaction during oocyte activation in vivo, in the future.