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Dev Biol. 1988 Jul;128(1):121-8.

Germinal vesicle components are not required for the cell-cycle oscillator of the early starfish embryo.

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CNRS, L.P. 8402 and INSERM U.249, Université Montpellier I, France.


We show that certain events of the cell cycle can still occur in starfish oocytes or fertilized eggs from which the germinal vesicle (the prominent nucleus of prophase-arrested oocytes) has been removed before the induction of meiotic maturation. Two meiotic asters develop following hormonal induction of meiotic maturation in these enucleated oocytes. The asters then divide to form a transient tetrapolar figure. When enucleated oocytes are fertilized, the sperm centrosome duplicates at the times corresponding to each cleavage in control nucleated embryos. Periodic changes in the organization of the asters and in the morphology of the cell surface also occur in synchrony with controls. Decondensation of the sperm nucleus, spindle formation, and cleavage do not occur when enucleated oocytes are fertilized. Ultimately the number of asters increases to approximately 520 (about 2(9] before the pseudo-embryo arrests and cytolyzes. Fertilized eggs from which both pronuclei but not the sperm aster have been removed undergo nine cleavages and then cease cell division. The cessation of division may be related to the events that cause the midblastula transition after seven cleavages in normal nucleated embryos.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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