A mouse egg cell, naturally filled with the protein PADI6 (blue) – a marker and main component of the cytoplasmic lattice. The DNA in the cell nucleus is shown in magenta. Courtesy: Jentoft/Schuh, Max-Planck-Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences

Protein stock for the beginning of a new life

How mysterious structures in the egg cell supply the early embryo as protein storage sites
When mammals have offspring, they invest a lot. Unlike fish or frogs, the embryo cannot develop on its own. It has to implant in the uterus, where it is supplied with everything it needs to survive. Until this happens, the egg cell nourishes the early embryo. Among other things, it provides essential proteins. Researchers led by Melina Schuh at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Multidisciplinary Sciences and the MBExC, together with colleagues in Göttingen, have now elucidated how egg cells store proteins. Their experiments also provide important insights into how errors in protein storage can lead to infertility. Structures of the egg cell that have puzzled scientists for over 60 years play a crucial role in this.
Link to the press release article