The accumulation and storage of maternal mRNA is crucial for oocyte maturation and embryonic development. PATL2 is an oocyte-specific RNA-binding protein, and previous studies have confirmed that PATL2 mutation in humans and knockout mice cause oocyte maturation arrest or embryonic development arrest, respectively. However, the physiological function of PATL2 in the process of oocyte maturation and embryonic development is largely unknown. Here, we report that PATL2 is highly expressed in growing oocytes and couples with EIF4E and CPEB1 to regulate maternal mRNA expression in immature oocytes. The germinal vesicle oocytes from Patl2−/− mice exhibit decreasing maternal mRNA expression and reduced levels of protein synthesis. We further confirmed that PATL2 phosphorylation occurs in the oocyte maturation process and identified the S279 phosphorylation site using phosphoproteomics. We found that the S279D mutation decreased the protein level of PATL2 and led to subfertility in Palt2S279D knock-in mice. Our work reveals the previously unrecognized role of PATL2 in regulating the maternal transcriptome and shows that phosphorylation of PATL2 leads to the regulation of PATL2 protein levels via ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation in oocytes.

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