Differential subcellular sequestration of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic proteins and colocalization of Bcl-xL with the germ plasm, in Xenopus laevis oocytes

Malgorzata Kloc, Yuri Shirato, Szczepan Bilinski, Leon W. Browder, Julian Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Apoptosis is an important element of normal embryonic development and gametogenesis in invertebrate and vertebrate species. Although the components of apoptotic machinery are present in Xenopus laevis fully grown stage VI oocytes and eggs, apoptosis in the developing Xenopus ovary is limited to the somatic cells with no indication of apoptosis in the germ cells. Considering the possibility that Xenopus previtellogenic oocytes might lack the components of the apoptotic pathway, we analyzed Xenopus Stage I oocytes for the presence of the proapoptotic factors Bax and tumor suppressor p53, and antiapoptotic factors Bcl-xL and mitochondrial heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60). We found that pro- and antiapoptotic proteins are present in Xenopus oocytes but, surprisingly, they are located in distinct subcellular compartments with proapoptotic proteins Bax and p53 being sequestered in the oocyte nucleus and antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL sequestered in the cytoplasm and highly enriched in the METRO region of the mitochondrial cloud, where it colocalized with the germ plasm, and Hsp60 colocalizing with all mitochondria. The absence of apoptosis in Xenopus early oogenesis is maybe due to differential sequestration of proand antiapoptotic molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-531
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • Germ plasm
  • Mitochondrial cloud
  • Oogenesis
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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