Cyclin B in Mouse Oocytes and Embryos: Importance for Human Reproduction and Aneuploidy

  • Zbigniew Polański
  • Hayden Homer
  • Jacek Z. KubiakEmail author
Part of the Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation book series (RESULTS, volume 55)


Oocyte maturation and early embryo development require precise coordination between cell cycle progression and the developmental programme. Cyclin B plays a major role in this process: its accumulation and degradation is critical for driving the cell cycle through activation and inactivation of the major cell cycle kinase, CDK1. CDK1 activation is required for M-phase entry whereas its inactivation leads to exit from M-phase. The tempo of oocyte meiotic and embryonic mitotic divisions is set by the rate of cyclin B accumulation and the timing of its destruction. By controlling when cyclin B destruction is triggered and by co-ordinating this with the completion of chromosome alignment, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is a critical quality control system important for averting aneuploidy and for building in the flexibility required to better integrate cell cycle progression with development. In this review we focus on cyclin B metabolism in mouse oocytes and embryos and illustrate how the cell cycle-powered clock (in fact cyclin B-powered clock) controls oocyte maturation and early embryo development, thereby providing important insight into human reproduction and potential causes of Down syndrome.


Mouse Oocyte Spindle Assembly Checkpoint CDK1 Activity Meiotic Maturation Mammalian Oocyte 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



While writing this article, JZK was supported by a grant from ARC. HH is supported by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship. ZP was supported by the Polish National Science Centre (grant N° DEC-2011/B/NZ3/00190).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zbigniew Polański
    • 1
  • Hayden Homer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jacek Z. Kubiak
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Evolution, Institute of ZoologyJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Mammalian Oocyte and Embryo Research Laboratory, Institute for Women’s HealthUniversity College London and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Institute for Women’s HealthUniversity College London and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  4. 4.Institut de Génétique et Développement de RennesCNRS, UMR 6290RennesFrance
  5. 5.IFR 140, Faculté de MédecineUniversité Rennes 1, UEBRennesFrance

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