The meiotic cell cycle of mammalian oocytes in preovulatory follicles is held in prophase arrest by diffusion of cGMP from the surrounding granulosa cells into the oocyte. Luteinizing hormone (LH) then releases meiotic arrest by lowering cGMP in the granulosa cells. The LH-induced reduction of cGMP is caused in part by a decrease in guanylyl cyclase activity, but the observation that the cGMP phosphodiesterase PDE5 is phosphorylated during LH signaling suggests that an increase in PDE5 activity could also contribute. To investigate this idea, we measured cGMP-hydrolytic activity in rat ovarian follicles. Basal activity was due primarily to PDE1A and PDE5, and LH increased PDE5 activity. The increase in PDE5 activity was accompanied by phosphorylation of PDE5 at serine 92, a protein kinase A/G consensus site. Both the phosphorylation and the increase in activity were promoted by elevating cAMP and opposed by inhibiting protein kinase A, supporting the hypothesis that LH activates PDE5 by stimulating its phosphorylation by protein kinase A. Inhibition of PDE5 activity partially suppressed LH-induced meiotic resumption as indicated by nuclear envelope breakdown, but inhibition of both PDE5 and PDE1 activities was needed to completely inhibit this response. These results show that activities of both PDE5 and PDE1 contribute to the LH-induced resumption of meiosis in rat oocytes, and that phosphorylation and activation of PDE5 is a regulatory mechanism.
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Vol. 94 • No. 5