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Pseudogenes populate the mammalian genome as remnants of artefactual incorporation of coding messenger RNAs into transposon pathways. Here we show that a subset of pseudogenes generates endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs) in mouse oocytes. These endo-siRNAs are often processed from double-stranded RNAs formed by hybridization of spliced(More)
BACKGROUND Missegregation of chromosomes during meiosis in human females causes aneuploidy, including trisomy 21, and is thought also to be the major cause of age-related infertility. Most errors are thought to occur at the first meiotic division. The high frequency of errors raises questions as to whether the surveillance mechanism known as the spindle(More)
Both murine endogenous retrovirus-L (MuERV-L) and intracisternal A particle (IAP), two autonomous long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, are activated during genome activation in the preimplantation mouse embryo, and both sense and antisense transcripts are detected in 2-cell and 8-cell stage embryos. Because RNA interference (RNAi) functions in the(More)
The fully grown mammalian oocyte is transcriptionally quiescent and utilizes only transcripts synthesized and stored during early development. However, we find that an abundant RNA population is retained in the oocyte nucleus and contains specific mRNAs important for meiotic progression. Here we show that during the first meiotic division, shortly after(More)
In yeast, resolution of chiasmata in meiosis I requires proteolytic cleavage along chromosome arms of cohesin's Rec8 subunit by separase. Since activation of separase by the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C) is supposedly not required for meiosis I in Xenopus oocytes, it has been suggested that animal cells might resolve chiasmata by a separase-independent(More)
A hallmark of oocyte development in mammals is the dependence on the translation and utilization of stored RNA and proteins rather than the de novo transcription of genes in order to sustain meiotic progression and early embryo development. In the absence of transcription, the completion of meiosis and early embryo development in mammals relies(More)
Chromosome segregation errors are highly frequent in mammalian female meiosis, and their incidence gradually increases with maternal age. The fate of aneuploid eggs is obviously dependent on the stringency of mechanisms for detecting unattached or repairing incorrectly attached kinetochores. In case of their failure, the newly formed embryo will inherit the(More)
It is generally accepted that mammalian oocytes are frequently suffering from chromosome segregation errors during meiosis I, which have severe consequences, including pregnancy loss, developmental disorders and mental retardation. In a search for physiologically more relevant model than rodent oocytes to study this phenomenon, we have employed comparative(More)
Mammalian female gametes frequently suffer from numerical chromosomal aberrations, the main cause of miscarriages and severe developmental defects. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the development of aneuploidy in oocytes are still not completely understood and remain a subject of extensive research. From studies focused on prevalence of aneuploidy(More)
Proper assembly of the spindle apparatus is crucially important for faithful chromosome segregation during anaphase. Thanks to the effort over the last decades, we have very detailed information about many events leading to spindle assembly and chromosome segregation, however we still do not understand certain aspects, including, for example, spindle length(More)