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Oocytes, the female germ cells, contain all the messenger RNAsnecessary to start a new life but typically wait until fertilizationto begin development. The transition from oocyte to fertilizedegg (zygote) involves many changes, including protein synthesis,protein and RNA degradation, and organelle remodeling. Thesechanges occur concurrently with the meiotic divisions that producethe haploid maternal genome. Accumulating evidence indicatesthat the cell-cycle regulators that control the meiotic divisionsalso regulate the many changes that accompany the oocyte-to-zygotetransition. We suggest that the meiotic machinery functionsas an internal pacemaker that propels oocytes toward embryogenesis.
1 Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, PCTB 706, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. 2 Predoctoral Training Program in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, PCTB 706, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
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Beverly A. Purnell and John Travis (20 April 2007) Science316 (5823), 387.
[DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5823.387] |Summary »|PDF »
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