Int. J. Dev. Biol. 52: 201 - 217 (2008)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.072337jk
© UBC Press

On the transition from the meiotic to mitotic cell cycle during early mouse development

Jacek Z. Kubiak1,*, Maria A. Ciemerych2,3, Anna Hupalowska2,5, Marta Sikora-Polaczek2,4 and Zbigniew Polanski4

1Institute of Genetics & Development, UMR 6061 CNRS, Mitosis & Meiosis Group, IFR 140 GFAS, University of Rennes 1, France, 2Department of Embryology and 3Department of Cytology, Institute of Zoology, University of Warsaw, Poland, 4Department of Genetics & Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland and 5Laboratory of Cell Biology, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, Poland

ABSTRACT Here, we outline the mechanisms involved in the regulation of cell divisions during oocyte maturation and early cleavages of the mouse embryo. Our interest is focused on the regulation of meiotic M-phases and the first embryonic mitoses that are differently tuned and are characterized by specifically modified mechanisms, some of which have been recently identified. The transitions between the M-phases during this period of development, as well as associated changes in their regulation, are of key importance for both the meiotic maturation of oocytes and the further development of the mammalian embryo. The mouse is an excellent model for studies of the cell cycle during oogenesis and early development. Nevertheless, a number of molecular mechanisms described here were discovered or confirmed during the study of other species and apply also to other mammals including humans.

Keywords:

meiosis, mitosis, oocyte, embryo, MPF, CSF, spindle assembly checkpoint, Mad2, Rec8

*Corresponding author e-mail: jacek.kubiak@univ-rennes1.fr