Spatial and Temporal Dissection of Mouse Meiotic Chromosome Segregation

Type of Award: Catalyst
Date Awarded: June 2016
Award End Date: May 2018
Amount Awarded: $ 250,000.00
PI(s): Sadie Wignall, PhD, NU; Michael Glotzer, PhD, UChicago;

Abstract: Sexually reproducing organisms utilize a specialized cell division program called meiosis to reduce their chromosome number by half to generate haploid gametes. Meiosis in females is especially error-prone and this vulnerability has a profound impact on human health: ~10-25% of human embryos have chromosomal abnormalities, largely as a result of problems during oocyte meiosis. However, despite the importance of oocyte meiosis for successful reproduction, much remains to be learned about how these cells segregate chromosomes. The Wignall lab has discovered a surprising new way that chromosomes segregate in oocytes of the nematode C. elegans, but it is unknown whether this mechanism also operates in humans or other mammals. Here, we will leverage technology developed by the Glotzer lab to answer this question, potentially yielding insight into why so many errors occur during this important and specialized cell division.