Activation of a meiotic checkpoint regulates translation of Gurken during Drosophila oogenesis

Nat Cell Biol. 1999 Oct;1(6):354-7. doi: 10.1038/14046.


The genes okra and spindle-B act during meiosis in Drosophila to repair double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) associated with meiotic recombination. Unexpectedly, mutations in these genes cause dorsoventral patterning defects during oogenesis. These defects result from a failure to accumulate Gurken protein, which is required to initiate dorsoventral patterning during oogenesis. Here we find that the block in Gurken accumulation in the oocyte cytoplasm reflects activation of a meiotic checkpoint in response to the persistence of DSBs in the nucleus. We also show that Vasa is a target of this meiotic checkpoint, and so may mediate the checkpoint-dependent translational regulation of Gurken.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Egg Proteins / genetics
  • Egg Proteins / metabolism*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Meiosis / physiology*
  • Oogenesis / physiology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA Helicases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha*
  • Transforming Growth Factors / genetics*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Egg Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • grk protein, Drosophila
  • spn-B protein, Drosophila
  • Transforming Growth Factors
  • vas protein, Drosophila
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • RNA Helicases