Background: Oocytes are the female gametes which establish the program of life after fertilization. Interactions between oocyte and the surrounding cumulus cells at germinal vesicle (GV) stage are considered essential for proper maturation or 'programming' of oocytes, which is crucial for normal fertilization and embryonic development. However, despite its importance, little is known about the molecular events and pathways involved in this bidirectional communication. Methodology/Principal Findings: We used differential detergent fractionation multidimensional protein identification technology (DDF-Mud PIT) on bovine GV oocyte and cumulus cells and identified 811 and 1247 proteins in GV oocyte and cumulus cells, respectively; 371 proteins were significantly differentially expressed between each cell type. Systems biology modeling, which included Gene Ontology (GO) and canonical genetic pathway analysis, showed that cumulus cells have higher expression of proteins involved in cell communication, generation of precursor metabolites and energy, as well as transport than GV oocytes. Our data also suggests a hypothesis that oocytes may depend on the presence of cumulus cells to generate specific cellular signals to coordinate their growth and maturation. Conclusions/Significance: Systems biology modeling of bovine oocytes and cumulus cells in the context of GO and protein interaction networks identified the signaling pathways associated with the proteins involved in cell-to-cell signaling biological process that may have implications in oocyte competence and maturation. This first comprehensive systems biology modeling of bovine oocytes and cumulus cell proteomes not only provides a foundation for signaling and cell physiology at the GV stage of oocyte development, but are also valuable for comparative studies of other stages of oocyte development at the molecular level.
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