Identifying the Translatome of Mouse NEBD-Stage Oocytes via SSP-Profiling; A Novel Polysome Fractionation Method


In the new publication with colleagues at Charles University (Prague), Czech Academy of Sciences (IAPG - Libechov) and the University of Edinburgh (UK), Alexander W. Bruce and Lenka Gahurová report a new method of polysome profiling (applicable to downstream RNA-Seq to detect polysome associated mRNAs undergoing translation) from biologically scarce material (e.g. NEBD mouse oocytes).

The study provides a detailed polysome profiling protocol that demonstrates a combination of the sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation in small SW55Ti tubes with the qRT-PCR-based quantification of 18S and 28S rRNAs in fractionated polysome profile. This newly optimised method, named Scarce Sample Polysome Profiling (SSP-profiling), is suitable for both scarce and conventional sample sizes and is compatible with downstream RNA-seq to identify polysome associated transcripts. Utilising SSP-profiling the authors have assayed the translatome of mouse oocytes at the onset of nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD)—a developmental point, the study of which is important for furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to oocyte aneuploidy. The analyses identified 1847 transcripts with moderate to strong polysome occupancy, including abundantly represented mRNAs encoding mitochondrial and ribosomal proteins, proteasomal components, glycolytic and amino acids synthetic enzymes, proteins involved in cytoskeleton organization plus RNA-binding and translation initiation factors. In addition to transcripts encoding known players of meiotic progression, the authors also identified several mRNAs encoding proteins of unknown function. Polysome profiles generated using SSP-profiling were more than comparable to those developed using existing conventional approaches, being demonstrably superior in their resolution, reproducibility, versatility, speed of derivation and downstream protocol applicability.