Mitochondrial dynamics controlled by mitofusins define organelle positioning and movement during mouse oocyte maturation

Takuya Wakai, Yuichirou Harada, Kenji Miyado, Tomohiro Kono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Mitochondria are abundant in fully grown mammalian oocytes with a unique spherical morphology, but the mechanisms controlling mitochondria behavior are notwell understood. Herewe describe for the first time the control of mitochondrial behavior in mouseoocytes by a fusion/fission mechanism. Mitofusins (Mfn1 and Mfn2) and OPA1 proteins are required for outer and inner mitochondrial membrane fusion, respectively, whereas Drp1 is the key regulator of mitochondrial fission.We show that mouse oocytes express the Mfn1, Mfn2, Opa1 and Drp1 proteins, both in immature and mature oocytes at similar levels. Overexpression of Mfn1 or Mfn2 causes marked mitochondrial aggregation, particularly in the perinuclear region during meiotic progression. Tracking of mitochondria with chromosomes or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) throughout oocyte maturation demonstrates that Mfn1 and Mfn2-promoted mitochondrial aggregation disturbs the spatiotemporal dynamic of the chromosomes and ER, respectively. Our findings suggest that organelle dynamics are co-ordinately controlled during meiotic division, and an imbalance of mitochondrial fusion/fission leads to disorganization of the organelle compartments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergau064
Pages (from-to)1090-1100
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Meiosis
  • Mitochondrial dynamics
  • Oocyte maturation
  • Spindle formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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