Functions of actin in mouse oocytes at a glance

 

New findings have shown that the actin cytoskeleton plays a role in a surprising number of processes in oocytes, including long-range vesicle transport, positioning of the germinal vesicle, spindle migration and anchorage, polar body extrusion and now also chromosome segregation, a process generally thought to rely solely on microtubules. While we cannot speculate whether other entirely undiscovered functions of actin in oocytes remain to be discovered, even the known functions are still not fully understood.

Additionally, investigating the functions of actin not only in oocytes but also in zygotes and early embryos may provide further insight.

Whether actin has a role in other processes during the oocyte-to-embryo transition, and how these roles change as mitotic mechanisms take over, will be an interesting topic for future research.