Two zinc finger proteins, OMA-1 and OMA-2, are redundantly required for oocyte maturation in C. elegans

Dev Cell. 2001 Aug;1(2):187-99. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(01)00026-0.


Oocytes are released from meiotic prophase I arrest through a process termed oocyte maturation. We present here a genetic characterization of oocyte maturation, using C. elegans as a model system. We show that two TIS11 zinc finger-containing proteins, OMA-1 and OMA-2, express specifically in maturing oocytes and function redundantly in oocyte maturation. Oocytes in oma-1;oma-2 mutants initiate but do not complete maturation and arrest at a defined point in prophase I. Two maturation signal-induced molecular events, including the maintenance of activated MAP kinase, do not occur in Oma oocytes. The Oma prophase arrest is released by inactivation of a MYT-1-like kinase, suggesting that OMA-1 and OMA-2 function upstream of MYT-1 as positive regulators of prophase progression during meiotic maturation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli
  • Female
  • Infertility, Female
  • Infertility, Male
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Prophase
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sex Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Zinc Fingers


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • OMA-1 protein, C elegans
  • RNA I
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • oma-2 protein, C elegans
  • RNA