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The molecular architecture of the meiotic spindle is remodeled during metaphase arrest in oocytes

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number9
Early online date5 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2019


Before fertilization, oocytes of most species undergo a long, natural arrest in metaphase. Before this, prometaphase I is also prolonged, due to late stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment. How oocytes stably maintain the dynamic spindle for hours during these periods is poorly understood. Here we report that the bipolar spindle changes its molecular architecture during the long prometaphase/metaphase I in Drosophila melanogaster oocytes. By generating transgenic flies expressing GFP-tagged spindle proteins, we found that 14 of 25 spindle proteins change their distribution in the bipolar spindle. Among them, microtubule cross-linking kinesins, MKlp1/Pavarotti and kinesin-5/Klp61F, accumulate to the spindle equator in late metaphase. We found that the late equator accumulation of MKlp1/Pavarotti is regulated by a mechanism distinct from that in mitosis. While MKlp1/Pavarotti contributes to the control of spindle length, kinesin-5/Klp61F is crucial for maintaining a bipolar spindle during metaphase I arrest. Our study provides novel insight into how oocytes maintain a bipolar spindle during metaphase arrest.

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