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Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Dec;4(12):921-8.

Formin-2, polyploidy, hypofertility and positioning of the meiotic spindle in mouse oocytes.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Successful reproduction in mammals requires a competent egg, which is formed during meiosis through two assymetrical cell divisions. Here, we show that a recently identified formin homology (FH) gene, formin-2 (Fmn2), is a maternal-effect gene that is expressed in oocytes and is required for progression through metaphase of meiosis I. Fmn2(-/-) oocytes cannot correctly position the metaphase spindle during meiosis I and form the first polar body. We demonstrate that Fmn2 is required for microtubule-independent chromatin positioning during metaphase I. Fertilization of Fmn2(-/-) oocytes results in polyploid embryo formation, recurrent pregnancy loss and sub-fertility in Fmn2(-/-) females. Injection of Fmn2 mRNA into Fmn2-deficient oocytes rescues the metaphase I block. Given that errors in meiotic maturation result in severe birth defects and are the most common cause of chromosomal aneuploidy and pregnancy loss in humans, studies of Fmn2 may provide a better understanding of infertility and birth defects.

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