Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why chromosome errors are high in women's eggs

Date:
March 18, 2014
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
It is estimated that up to 60 per cent of eggs are affected by errors in how their chromosomes divide, making it the leading cause of infertility. Chromosome errors also lead to conditions such as Down Syndrome and early pregnancy loss. By using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, the researchers examined the most important process present in all cells to prevent chromosome errors – the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC) – and looked at how it behaves in oocytes (developing female sex cells).

This shows Professor Keith Jones (standing) and Dr. Simon Lane.
Credit: University of Southampton

A new study from the University of Southampton has provided scientists with a better understanding of why chromosome errors are high in women's eggs.

It is estimated that up to 60 per cent of eggs are affected by errors in how their chromosomes divide, making it the leading cause of infertility. Chromosome errors also lead to conditions such as Down Syndrome and early pregnancy loss.

By using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, the Southampton researchers examined the most important process present in all cells to prevent chromosome errors -- the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC) -- and looked at how it behaves in oocytes (developing female sex cells). The SAC acts as a gatekeeper, only allowing a cell to pass through (and so divide) if its chromosomes are all ready to do so, in order to preserve the cell's identity and proper function. If cells don't have a SAC, or the SAC is damaged in some way when cells divide, often the female cells inherit the wrong number of chromosomes.

The researchers, Dr Simon Lane and Professor Keith Jones from the University's Centre for Biological Sciences, found differences in the way SAC operates in eggs to all other cells. Dr Lane says: "We found that in oocytes, the classical model of how this gatekeeper works, from a closed gate to open gate, doesn't operate: instead the gate is continually left ajar. As such, an oocyte can divide its chromosomes and becomes aneuploid -- a cell with fewer or more chromosomes than usual -- quite easily, because the SAC isn't preventing the division."

Professor Keith Jones, who is Head of the Centre for Biological Sciences, says: "Our findings won't provide an immediate cure for preventing errors, but it gives us a better understanding for what is controlling chromosome division in eggs. Armed with such knowledge, we could potentially find ways of improving this control mechanism or alternatively find ways of screening eggs as they are dividing to detect a good egg from a bad egg -- although this screening would obviously only benefit people in an IVF setting where eggs are recovered from the patient."

The paper 'Non-canonical function of SAC proteins after APC activation reduces aneuploidy in mouse oocytes' is published in the journal Nature Communications and was funded by the Australian Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon I.R. Lane, Keith T. Jones. Non-canonical function of spindle assembly checkpoint proteins after APC activation reduces aneuploidy in mouse oocytes. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4444

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Why chromosome errors are high in women's eggs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093216.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2014, March 18). Why chromosome errors are high in women's eggs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093216.htm
University of Southampton. "Why chromosome errors are high in women's eggs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093216.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins