Zygote (Cambridge, England)
RNA-binding proteins (RBP) influence RNA editing, localization, stability and translation and may contribute to oocyte developmental competence by regulating the stability and turnover of oogenetic mRNAs. The expression of Staufen 1 and 2 and ELAVL1, ELAVL2 RNA-binding proteins during cow early development was characterized. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were collected from slaughterhouse ovaries, matured, inseminated and subjected to embryo culture in vitro. Oocyte or preimplantation embryo pools were processed for RT-PCR and whole-mount immunofluorescence analysis of mRNA expression and protein distribution. STAU1 and STAU2 and ELAVL1 mRNAs and proteins were detected throughout cow preimplantation development from the germinal vesicle (GV) oocyte to the blastocyst stage. ELAVL2 mRNAs were detectable from the GV to the morula stage, whereas ELAVL2 protein was in all stages examined and localized to both cytoplasm and nuclei. The findings provide a foundation for investigating the role of RBPs during mammalian oocyte maturation and early embryogenesis.