Checkpoint kinase 1 is essential for meiotic cell cycle regulation in mouse oocytes

Lei Chen, Shi Bin Chao, Zhen Bo Wang, Shu-Tao Qi, Xiu Lan Zhu, Shang Wu Yang, Cai-Rong Yang, Qing Hua Zhang, Ying-Chun Ouyang, Yi Hou, Heide Schatten, Qing-Yuan Sun

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Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) plays key roles in all currently defined cell cycle checkpoints, but its functions in mouse oocyte meiosis remain unclear. In this study, we report the expression, localization and functions of Chk1 in mouse oocyte meiosis. Chk1 was expressed from germinal vesicle (GV) to metaphase II (MII) stages and localized to the spindle from pro-metaphase I (pro-MI) to MII stages in mouse oocytes. Chk1 depletion facilitated the G2/M transition, while Chk1 overexpression inhibited the G2/M transition, as indicated by germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), through regulation of Cdh1 and Cyclin B1. Chk1 depletion did not affect meiotic cell cycle progression after GVBD, but its overexpression after GVBD activated the spindle assembly checkpoint and prevented homologous chromosome segregation, thus arresting oocytes at pro-MI or metaphase I (MI) stages. These results suggest that Chk1 is indispensable for prophase I arrest and functions in G2/M checkpoint regulation in meiotic oocytes. Moreover, Chk1 overexpression affects meiotic spindle assembly checkpoint regulation and thus chromosome segregation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1948-1955
Number of pages8
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Checkpoint kinase 1
  • Germinal vesicle breakdown
  • Meiosis
  • Oocyte
  • Spindle assembly checkpoint

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