c-mos RNA expression in somatic cells and its physiological significance in cell cycle progression

Lisa Virginia Tsui, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The c-mos proto-oncogene, which is expressed at relatively high levels in male and female germ cells, plays a key role in oocyte meiotic maturation. The c-mos gene product in oocytes (p39$\sp{\rm c-mos}$) is necessary and sufficient to initiate meiosis. p39$\sp{\rm c-mos}$ is also an essential component of the cytostatic factor, which is responsible for arresting vertebrate oocytes at the second meiotic metaphase by stabilizing the maturation promoting factor (MPF). MPF is a universal regulator of both meiosis and mitosis. Much less is understood about c-mos expression and function in somatic cells. In addition to gonadal tissues, c-Mos has been detected in some somatic tissues and non-germ cell lines including NIH 3T3 cells as a protein termed p43$\sp{\rm c-mos}$. Since c-mos RNA transcripts were not previously detected in this cell line by Northern blot or S1 protection analyses, a search was made for c-mos RNA in NIH 3T3 cells. c-mos transcripts were detected using the highly sensitive RNA-PCR method and RNase protection assays. Furthermore, cell cycle analyses indicated that expression of c-mos RNA is tightly controlled in a cell cycle dependent manner with highest levels of transcripts (approximately 5 copies/cell) during the G2 phase. In order to determine the physiological significance of c-mos RNA expression in somatic cells, antisense mos was placed under the control of an inducible promoter and introduced into either NIH 3T3 cells or C2 cells. It was found that a basal level of expression of antisense mos resulted in interference with mitotic progression and growth arrest. Several nuclear abnormalities were observed, especially the appearance of binucleated and multinucleated cells as well as the extrusion of microvesicles containing cellular material. These results indicate that antisense mos expression results in a block in cytokinesis. In summary, these results establish that c-mos expression is not restricted to germ cells, but instead indicate that c-mos RNA expression occurs during the G2 stage of the cell cycle. Furthermore, these studies demonstrate that the c-mos proto-oncogene plays an important role in cell cycle progression. As in meiosis, c-mos may have a similar but not identical function in regulating cell cycle events in somatic cells, particularly in controlling mitotic progression via activation/stabilization of MPF.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Tsui, Lisa Virginia, "c-mos RNA expression in somatic cells and its physiological significance in cell cycle progression" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9329538.