Scientists demonstrate the process of mammalian egg maturation

Feb 05, 2007

The Rong Li lab team has answered an important question about how mammalian eggs undergo maturation through an intricate process of asymmetric cell division. The team discovered a novel pathway by which chromatin exerts command on the cell membrane to produce a specialized machinery used for cell division.

The paper, "Chromatin-derived signals control asymmetric meiotic cell division in mouse oocytes," will be published in the Feb. 6 issue of Developmental Cell. It examines how mammalian eggs undergo a maturation process to achieve genomic reduction, while maintaining as many useful building blocks as possible for later embryonic development.

"This study provides important clues to the molecular signals used by the chromatin to communicate with the cell membrane in order for the cell division machine to be assembled at the right place," said Rong Li, Ph.D., Investigator. "It also appears that there are significant differences between this cell division process and the studied process occuring in somatic cells. Therefore, the egg system provides an unique paradigm for understanding the basic strategies that mammalian cells use to undergo specialized cell divisions."

"The process of egg maturation is critical for reproduction," said Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., Scientific Director. "Any mistake in this process can lead to infertility or developmental abnormalities. The Li lab's findings open the door to a better understanding of the molecular basis of cell division during egg maturation in mammalian organisms."

Source: Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Explore further: World's first microbe 'zoo' opens in Amsterdam

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA ocean data shows 'climate dance' of plankton

6 hours ago

The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton—microscopic aquatic plants ...

New technique reveals a role for histones in cell division

Sep 25, 2014

(Phys.org) —Proteins known as histones give structure to DNA, which coils around them like string on spools. But as is so often the case in biology, it turns out there is more to these structures than meets ...

Unlocking long-hidden mechanisms of plant cell division

Sep 25, 2014

Along with copying and splitting DNA during division, cells must have a way to break safely into two viable daughter cells, a process called cytokinesis. But the molecular basis of how plant cells accomplish ...

Team improves solar-cell efficiency

Sep 19, 2014

New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago's chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular ...

Unraveling cell division

Sep 16, 2014

CRG researchers shed new light on mitosis. The study published in the Journal of Cell Biology describes how Topo 2 disentangles DNA molecules and is essential for proper cell division

Recommended for you

Genetic secrets of the monarch butterfly revealed

1 hour ago

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic insects in the world, best known for its distinct orange and black wings and a spectacular annual mass migration across North America. However, little has been ...

What happens when good genes get lost?

4 hours ago

Scientifically speaking, there is no bad DNA, though we like to blame it for unruly hair, klutziness or poor gardening skills. There is, however, junk DNA.

User comments : 0