Metabolic Control of Oocyte Apoptosis Mediated by 14-3-3ζ-Regulated Dephosphorylation of Caspase-2

Leta K. Nutt, Marisa R. Buchakjian, Eugene Gan, Rashid Darbandi, Sook Young Yoon, Judy Q. Wu, Yuko J. Miyamoto, Jennifer A. Gibbon, Josh L. Andersen, Christopher D. Freel, Wanli Tang, Changli He, Manabu Kurokawa, Yongjun Wang, Seth S. Margolis, Rafael A. Fissore, Sally Kornbluth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Xenopus oocyte death is partly controlled by the apoptotic initiator caspase-2 (C2). We reported previously that oocyte nutrient depletion activates C2 upstream of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. Conversely, nutrient-replete oocytes inhibit C2 via S135 phosphorylation catalyzed by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. We now show that C2 phosphorylated at S135 binds 14-3-3ζ, thus preventing C2 dephosphorylation. Moreover, we determined that S135 dephosphorylation is catalyzed by protein phosphatase-1 (PP1), which directly binds C2. Although C2 dephosphorylation is responsive to metabolism, neither PP1 activity nor binding is metabolically regulated. Rather, release of 14-3-3ζ from C2 is controlled by metabolism and allows for C2 dephosphorylation. Accordingly, a C2 mutant unable to bind 14-3-3ζ is highly susceptible to dephosphorylation. Although this mechanism was initially established in Xenopus, we now demonstrate similar control of murine C2 by phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding in mouse eggs. These findings provide an unexpected evolutionary link between 14-3-3 and metabolism in oocyte death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)856-866
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 16 2009
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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