Most of the human genome is non-coding. However, some of the non-coding part is transcriptionally active. In humans, the tandemly repeated (TR) pericentromeric non-coding DNA—human satellites 2 and 3 (HS2, HS3)—are transcribed in somatic cells. These transcripts are also found in pre- and post-implantation embryos. The aim of this study was to analyze HS2/HS3 transcription and cellular localization of transcripts in human maturating oocytes. The maternal HS2/HS3 TR transcripts transcribed from both strands were accumulated in the ooplasm in GV-MI oocytes as shown by DNA–RNA FISH (fluorescence in-situ hybridization). The transcripts’ content was higher in GV oocytes than in somatic cumulus cells according to real-time PCR. Using bioinformatics analysis, we demonstrated the presence of polyadenylated HS2 and HS3 RNAs in datasets of GV and MII oocyte transcriptomes. The transcripts shared a high degree of homology with HS2, HS3 transcripts previously observed in cancer cells. The HS2/HS3 transcripts were revealed by a combination of FISH and immunocytochemical staining within membraneless RNP structures that contained DEAD-box helicases DDX5 and DDX4. The RNP structures were closely associated with mitochondria, and are therefore similar to membraneless bodies described previously only in oogonia. These membraneless structures may be a site for spatial sequestration of RNAs and proteins in both maturating oocytes and cancer cells.
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