Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

ERC

ChromHeritance Report Summary

Project ID: 336460
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Austria

Mid-Term Report Summary - CHROMHERITANCE (Chromosome inheritance from mammalian oocytes to embryos)

The most dramatic cell fate conversion occurs when highly differentiated gametes – egg and sperm – fuse to form a totipotent zygote with the potential to give rise to a new organism. Female germ cells or oocytes are converted through specialized cell division cycles, fertilization and epigenetic reprogramming into the single-cell embryo or zygote. Our innovative research program addresses fundamental questions about the mammalian oocyte-to-zygote transition (OZT). By combining chromosome and cell cycle research, epigenetics and genomics, we are obtaining novel insights into genome inheritance and chromatin organization. Using mouse mutagenesis and live-cell imaging, we have demonstrated that Rec8-cohesin establishes sister chromatid cohesion in fetal oocytes and is maintained without turnover for months in arrested oocytes. The inability of oocytes to regenerate cohesion by Rec8-cohesin is likely a contributing factor to maternal age-related chromosome missegregation and trisomic pregnancies. Furthermore, our new research in zygotes has a strong potential for discoveries since reprogramming to totipotency remains poorly understood. We have discovered that a surveillance mechanism monitors zygotic reprogramming and links its completion to entry into mitosis. A molecular understanding of the OZT has implications for induced pluripotent stem cell and artificial reproductive technologies.

Contact

Tanja Winkler, (Grants Manager)
Tel.: +43 179044 4410
Fax: +43 1 79871 53
E-mail
Record Number: 197667 / Last updated on: 2017-05-16