The majority of oocyte functions involves and depends on the cytoskeletal elements, which include microtubules and actin and cytokeratin filaments. Various structures and molecules are temporarily or permanently bound to the cytoskeletal elements and their functions rely on cytoskeleton integrity and its timely assembly. Thus the accurate visualization of cytoskeleton is often crucial for studies and analyses of oocyte structure and functions. Here we describe several reliable methods for microtubule and/or microfilaments preservation and visualization in Xenopus oocyte extracts, and in situ in live and fixed insect and frog (Xenopus) oocytes. In addition, we describe visualization of cytoskeleton-bound RNAs using molecular beacons in live Xenopus oocytes.
- Journal Article