Expression Pattern of HSP25 in Mouse Preimplantation Embryo: Heat Shock Responses during Oocyte Maturation

Myungjin Kim, Dongho Geum, Inkoo Khang, Young Mee Park, Byung Moon Kang, Kyung A.H. Lee, Kyungjin Kim

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are known to play an important role not only in various stress conditions such as exposure to heat shock, but also in normal development and/or differentiation. The role of small heat shock proteins such as HSP25 in early embryo development remains largely unknown. In the present study, we examined temporal and spatial expression patterns of HSP25 during mouse preimplantation embryo development. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that hsp25 mRNA was detected in unfertilized eggs. Hsp25 mRNA was induced by zygotic gene activation at 2-cell stage, decreased slightly at 4-cell, and re-increased at morula, with the highest level at blastocyst stage. Interestingly, another form of hsp25 variant of which 156 bp (52 a.a.) was truncated within the exon1 region was observed in all stages of preimplantation embryos. We also investigated the sub-cellular localization of HSP25 by fluorescence immunocytochemistry. HSP25 was detected in the cytoplasm under normal developmental condition. While acute heat shock (at 43°C for 30 min) caused no significant changes in the sub-cellular localization of HSP25 in the developing mouse embryos, chronic heat shock (at 43°C for 3 hr) resulted in a denser immunostaining of HSP25 in the nucleus than in the cytoplasm, indicating a nuclear translocation of HSP25 by heat shock. As hsp25 mRNA was detected in the unfertilized egg as a maternal transcript, we examined the expression of hsp25 mRNA with RT-PCR during oocyte maturation under normal and heat shock conditions. Hsp25 mRNA was detected at GV (germinal vesicle)-, GVBD (germinal vesicle breakdown)-, and MII (metaphase II)-oocytes. The expression of hsp25 mRNA was increased markedly by both acute (for 30 min and 1 hr) and chronic (for 4 hr) heat shock, but returned to the basal level during recovery from heat shock in a time-dependent manner, suggesting a thermo-protective role of HSP25. In contrast to preimplantation embryos, HSP25 was detected both in the cytoplasm and the nucleus except for the nucleolus, and the cellular localization was not altered by heat shock. Finally, we investigated the effect of heat shock on oocyte maturation. When GV-oocytes were exposed to acute heat shock (at 43°C for 15 min to 1 hr), they underwent the GVBD and the PB (polar body) emission successfully. However, under more stringent heat shock conditions (at 43°C for 2-4 hr), most oocytes were arrested at the GV-stage, and the first PB was not developed, indicating that chronic heat shock might be inhibitory to the mouse oocyte maturation. Taken together, these findings suggest that HSP25 is important for mouse preimplantation embryo development and oocyte maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • HSP25
  • Heat shock
  • Oocyte maturation
  • Preimplantation mouse embryo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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