BSc Hons I (Human Physiology) University of Newcastle upon Tyne 2008
My research is concerned with the metaphase to anaphase transition during meiosis I in mammalian oocytes. Timely transition from metaphase to anaphase requires that both cyclin B1 and securin are degraded by the Anaphase Promoting Complex and that this occurs only after all homologous chromosomes are biorientated correctly.
|Microinjection of cRNA into a GV stage oocyte.|
Because oocytes are so prone to meiosis I chromosome segregation errors and the consequences of such errors are dire this division is of great importance. Errors in chromosome segregation during meiosis I are the most frequent cause of downs syndrome and miscarriage.
|Time lapse images of an oocyte going through the first meiotic division. The right field shows Cyclin B1-Venus (shown in yellow) being degraded before polar bode extrusion in the same oocyte.|
In order to further our understanding of this area I am investigating the role of Aurora B in mouse oocytes. Aurora B is a major regulator of the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint. This checkpoint oversees the regulation of the anaphase promoting complex during the metaphase anaphase transition and our understanding of it will be important if we are to determine the origin of chromosome segregation errors in oocytes.
To study meiosis I in mouse oocytes I utilize the technique of microinjecting cRNA coding for proteins with fluorescent tags. I then follow the fate of such proteins through the cell division by real time fluorescence microscopy.