Progesterone Receptor Membrane Component 1 (PGRMC1) is expressed in both oocyte and ovarian somatic cells, where it is found in multiple cellular sub-compartments including the mitotic spindle apparatus. PGRMC1 localization in the maturing bovine oocytes mirrors its localization in mitotic cells, suggesting a possible common action in mitosis and meiosis. To test the hypothesis that altering PGRMC1 activity leads to similar defects in mitosis and meiosis, PGRMC1 function was perturbed in cultured bovine granulosa cells (bGC) and maturing oocytes and the effect on mitotic and meiotic progression assessed. RNA interference-mediated PGRMC1 silencing in bGC significantly reduced cell proliferation, with a concomitant increase in the percentage of cells arrested at G2/M phase, which is consistent with an arrested or prolonged M-phase. This observation was confirmed by time-lapse imaging that revealed defects in late karyokinesis. In agreement with a role during late mitotic events, a direct interaction between PGRMC1 and Aurora Kinase B (AURKB) was observed in the central spindle at of dividing cells. Similarly, treatment with the PGRMC1 inhibitor AG205 or PGRMC1 silencing in the oocyte impaired completion of meiosis I. Specifically the ability of the oocyte to extrude the first polar body was significantly impaired while meiotic figures aberration and chromatin scattering within the ooplasm increased. Finally, analysis of PGRMC1 and AURKB localization in AG205-treated oocytes confirmed an altered localization of both proteins when meiotic errors occur. The present findings demonstrate that PGRMC1 participates in late events of both mammalian mitosis and oocyte meiosis, consistent with PGRMC1's localization at the mid-zone and mid-body of the mitotic and meiotic spindle.
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