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Genesis. 2000 Jan;26(1):26-41.

The polo-like kinase PLK-1 is required for nuclear envelope breakdown and the completion of meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute-FCRF, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


The Polo-like kinases are key regulatory molecules required during the cell cycle for the successful completion of mitosis. We have cloned a C. elegans homolog of the Drosophila melanogaster polo gene (designated plk-1 for C. elegans polo-like kinase-1) and present the subcellular localization of the PLK-1 protein during the meiotic and mitotic cell cycles in C. elegans oocytes and embryos, respectively. Disruption of PLK-1 expression by RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) disrupts normal oocyte and embryonic development. Inspection of oocytes revealed a defect in nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD) before ovulation. This defect in NEBD was also observed in oocytes that were depleted of the cyclin-dependent kinase NCC-1 (C. elegans homolog of Cdc2). The plk-1 RNAi oocytes were fertilized; however the resulting embryos were unable to separate their meiotic chromosomes or form and extrude polar bodies. These defects led to embryonic arrest as single cells. genesis 26:26-41, 2000. Published 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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