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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Sep;14(9):549-62. doi: 10.1038/nrm3643. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Restarting life: fertilization and the transition from meiosis to mitosis.

Author information

1
Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB), Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK.

Abstract

Fertilization triggers a complex cellular programme that transforms two highly specialized meiotic germ cells, the oocyte and the sperm, into a totipotent mitotic embryo. Linkages between sister chromatids are remodelled to support the switch from reductional meiotic to equational mitotic divisions; the centrosome, which is absent from the egg, is reintroduced; cell division shifts from being extremely asymmetric to symmetric; genomic imprinting is selectively erased and re-established; and protein expression shifts from translational control to transcriptional control. Recent work has started to reveal how this remarkable transition from meiosis to mitosis is achieved.

PMID:
23942453
PMCID:
PMC4021448
DOI:
10.1038/nrm3643
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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