John C. Schimenti

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DMC1 is a meiosis-specific gene first discovered in yeast that encodes a protein with homology to RecA and may be component of recombination nodules. Yeast dmc1 mutants are defective in crossing over and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation, and arrest in late prophase of meiosis I. We have generated a null mutation in the Dmc1 gene in mice and show that(More)
Speciation genes restrict gene flow between the incipient species and related taxa. Three decades ago, we mapped a mammalian speciation gene, hybrid sterility 1 (Hst1), in the intersubspecific hybrids of house mouse. Here, we identify this gene as Prdm9, encoding a histone H3 lysine 4 trimethyltransferase. We rescued infertility in male hybrids with(More)
A novel mutation, mei8, was isolated in a forward genetic screen for infertility mutations induced by chemical mutagenesis of ES cells. Homozygous mutant mice are sterile. Mutant females exhibit ovarian dysgenesis and lack ovarian follicles at reproductive maturity. Affected males have small testes due to arrest of spermatogenesis during meiotic prophase I.(More)
Transitions between pluripotent stem cells and differentiated cells are executed by key transcription regulators. Comparative measurements of RNA polymerase distribution over the genome's primary transcription units in different cell states can identify the genes and steps in the transcription cycle that are regulated during such transitions. To identify(More)
Animal germ cells produce PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), small silencing RNAs that suppress transposons and enable gamete maturation. Mammalian transposon-silencing piRNAs accumulate early in spermatogenesis, whereas pachytene piRNAs are produced later during postnatal spermatogenesis and account for >95% of all piRNAs in the adult mouse testis. Mutants(More)
Meiosis pairs and segregates homologous chromosomes and thereby forms haploid germ cells to compensate the genome doubling at fertilization. Homologue pairing in many eukaryotic species depends on formation of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) during early prophase I when telomeres begin to cluster at the nuclear periphery (bouquet stage). By fluorescence in(More)
Development of fertilization-competent oocytes depends on integrated processes controlling meiosis, cytoplasmic development, and maintenance of genomic integrity. We show that meiosis arrest female 1 (MARF1) is required for these processes in mammalian oocytes. Mutations of Marf1 cause female infertility characterized by up-regulation of a cohort of(More)
Meiosis is an essential stage in gamete formation in all sexually reproducing organisms. Studies of mutations in model organisms and of human haplotype patterns are leading to a clearer understanding of how meiosis has adapted from yeast to humans, the genes that control the dynamics of chromosomes during meiosis, and how meiosis is tied to gametic success.(More)
The vestibular system of the inner ear is responsible for the perception of motion and gravity. Key elements of this organ are otoconia, tiny biomineral particles in the utricle and the saccule. In response to gravity or linear acceleration, otoconia deflect the stereocilia of the hair cells, thus transducing kinetic movements into sensorineural action(More)
Cohesin is a conserved multisubunit protein complex that participates in chromosome segregation, DNA damage repair, chromatin regulation, and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation. Yeast, but not mice, depleted of the cohesin subunit Rec8 are defective in the formation of the axial elements (AEs) of the SC, suggesting that, in mammals, this function is not(More)