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Dev Cell. 2001 Aug;1(2):187-99.

Two zinc finger proteins, OMA-1 and OMA-2, are redundantly required for oocyte maturation in C. elegans.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75390-9148, USA.


Oocytes are released from meiotic prophase I arrest through a process termed oocyte maturation. We present here a genetic characterization of oocyte maturation, using C. elegans as a model system. We show that two TIS11 zinc finger-containing proteins, OMA-1 and OMA-2, express specifically in maturing oocytes and function redundantly in oocyte maturation. Oocytes in oma-1;oma-2 mutants initiate but do not complete maturation and arrest at a defined point in prophase I. Two maturation signal-induced molecular events, including the maintenance of activated MAP kinase, do not occur in Oma oocytes. The Oma prophase arrest is released by inactivation of a MYT-1-like kinase, suggesting that OMA-1 and OMA-2 function upstream of MYT-1 as positive regulators of prophase progression during meiotic maturation.

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