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Science. 2009 Nov 13;326(5955):991-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1175326.

A spindle assembly checkpoint protein functions in prophase I arrest and prometaphase progression.

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Oocyte and Embryo Research Laboratory, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biosciences and Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London, UK.


Two critical stages of mammalian oocyte regulation are prophase I arrest, which is important for sustaining the oocyte pool, and the progression through meiosis I (MI) to produce fertilizable eggs. We have found that the spindle assembly checkpoint protein BubR1 regulates both stages in mouse oocytes. We show that oocytes depleted of BubR1 cannot sustain prophase I arrest and readily undergo germinal vesicle breakdown, a marker for reentry into MI. BubR1-depleted oocytes then arrest before completing MI, marked by failure of polar body extrusion. Both meiotic defects in BubR1-depleted oocytes are due to reduced activity of the master regulator known as the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), brought about through diminished levels of the APC coactivator Cdh1.

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