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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)
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)
Accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis and meiosis depends on shugoshin proteins that prevent precocious dissociation of cohesin from centromeres. Shugoshins associate with PP2A, which is thought to dephosphorylate cohesin and thereby prevent cleavage by separase during meiosis I. A crystal structure of a complex between a fragment of human Sgo1 and(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)
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)
Proteolytic activity of separase is required for chiasma resolution during meiosis I in mouse oocytes. Rec8, the meiosis-specific alpha-kleisin subunit of cohesin, is a key target of separase in yeast. Is the equivalent protein also a target in mammals? We show here that separase cleaves mouse Rec8 at three positions in vitro but only when the latter is(More)
A-T (ataxia telangiectasia) individuals frequently display gonadal atrophy, and Atm-/- mice show spermatogenic failure due to arrest at prophase of meiosis I. Chromosomal movements take place during meiotic prophase, with telomeres congregating on the nuclear envelope to transiently form a cluster during the leptotene/zygotene transition (bouquet(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)
The step-wise assembly of a functional nucleolus, which occurs over the first few cell cycles during preimplantation development, is poorly understood. In this study, we examined the function of the evolutionary conserved nucleolar protein SURF6 in preimplantation mouse embryo development. Immunocytochemical analyses revealed that the localization of SURF6(More)
Studies in mutant organisms deficient in RNA interference (RNAi) and related post-transcriptional gene silencing implicated a role for a single class of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRp). Nevertheless, sequence homologs to these RdRps have not been found in coelomate organisms such as Drosophila or mammals. This lack of homologous sequences does not(More)