Spindle assembly and chromosome dynamics during oocyte meiosis.

Affiliation

Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, United States. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Organisms that reproduce sexually utilize a specialized form of cell division called meiosis to reduce their chromosome number by half to generate haploid gametes. Meiosis in females is especially error-prone, and this vulnerability has a profound impact on human health: it is estimated that 10-25% of human embryos are chromosomally abnormal, and the vast majority of these defects arise from problems with the female reproductive cells (oocytes). Here, we highlight recent studies that explore how these important cells divide. Although we focus on work in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, we also discuss complementary studies in other organisms that together provide new insights into this crucial form of cell division.