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Mad2 and spindle assembly checkpoint function during meiosis I in mammalian oocytes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hayden Homer


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During mammalian mitosis, a proofreading network called the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is indispensable for ensuring the fidelity of chromosome segregation. An inhibitory SAC signal is deputed to inhibits mitotic cell-cycle progression in response to misaligned chromosomes until such imperfections are rectified thereby ensuring equitable chromosome partitioning to daughter cells. Amongst the cast of SAC proteins, mitotic arrest deficient 2 (Mad2) plays a leading role in transducing the SAC signal. The aneuploidy and cancer predispositions of individuals who harbour genetic mutations in SAC genes emphasise the in vivo significance of this surveillance mechanism. In humans, congenital aneuploidies such as Down's syndrome demonstrate an exponential increase with advancing female age. Although largely the result of female meiosis I errors, the molecular entities that succumb with age in oocytes remain elusive. Declining oocyte SAC function could plausibly contribute to such errors. Until recently however, convincing evidence for a functional SAC in mammalian oocytes during meiosis I was unforthcoming. Here I review the evidence regarding the SAC in female mammalian meiosis I and how our understanding of this system has evolved in recent years. This review will focus on Mad2 as this is the SAC protein that has been most comprehensively investigated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Homer HA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Histology and Histopathology

Year: 2006

Volume: 21

Issue: 7-9

Pages: 873-886

ISSN (print): 0213-3911

ISSN (electronic): 1699-5848