Control of mammalian germ cell entry into meiosis

Feng, Chun-Wei, Bowles, Josephine and Koopman, Peter (2013) Control of mammalian germ cell entry into meiosis. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 382 1: 488-497. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2013.09.026

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Author Feng, Chun-Wei
Bowles, Josephine
Koopman, Peter
Title Control of mammalian germ cell entry into meiosis
Journal name Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0303-7207
Publication date 2013-09-27
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.mce.2013.09.026
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 382
Issue 1
Start page 488
End page 497
Total pages 10
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Germ cells enter meiosis at a different time between males and females.
• A complex suite of molecular signals acts co-ordinately to ensure correct sex-specific timing of entry into meiosis.
• Retinoic acid plays a major role in meiotic entry in both sexes, inducing Stra8 expression.
• Understanding how meiosis begins revolves around clarifying the molecular roles of the gatekeeper protein STRA8.
• Misregulation of germ cell entry into meiosis may underlie infertility and germ cell cancers.

Germ cells are unique in undergoing meiosis to generate oocytes and sperm. In mammals, meiosis onset is before birth in females, or at puberty in males, and recent studies have uncovered several regulatory steps involved in initiating meiosis in each sex. Evidence suggests that retinoic acid (RA) induces expression of the critical pre-meiosis gene Stra8 in germ cells of the fetal ovary, pubertal testis and adult testis. In the fetal testis, CYP26B1 degrades RA, while FGF9 further antagonises RA signalling to suppress meiosis. Failsafe mechanisms involving Nanos2 may further suppress meiosis in the fetal testis. Here, we draw together the growing knowledge relating to these meiotic control mechanisms, and present evidence that they are co-ordinately regulated and that additional factors remain to be identified. Understanding this regulatory network will illuminate not only how the foundations of mammalian reproduction are laid, but also how mis-regulation of these steps can result in infertility or germline tumours.
Keyword Mouse
Retinoic acid
Sex determination
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 27 September 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 30 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 34 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 01 Nov 2013, 01:41:53 EST by Susan Allen on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience