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: Supportive moms and sisters boost female baboon's rank

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Simulating the invisible

21 minutes ago

Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos in the OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit simulates the interactions of particles that are too small to see, and too complicated to visualize. In order to study the particles' behavior, he uses ...

Timely arrival of Pharao space clock

5 minutes ago

ESA has welcomed the arrival of Pharao, an important part of ESA's atomic clock experiment that will be attached to the International Space Station in 2016.

Recommended for you

Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model

14 hours ago

Inspired by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, collaborators from the University of Illinois and National University of Singapore improved a 35-year-old ecology model to better understand how species ...

User comments : 0