Background: Homologous chromosomes separate in meiosis I and sister chromatids separate in meiosis II, generating haploid gametes. To address the question why sister chromatids do not separate in meiosis I, we explored the roles of Shogoshin1 (Sgo1) in chromosome separation during oocyte meiosis.
Methodology/principal findings: Sgo1 function was evaluated by exogenous overexpression to enhance its roles and RNAi to suppress its roles during two meioses of mouse oocytes. Immunocytochemistry and chromosome spread were used to evaluate phenotypes. The exogenous Sgo1 overexpression kept homologous chromosomes and sister chromatids not to separate in meiosis I and meiosis II, respectively, while the Sgo1 RNAi promoted premature separation of sister chromatids.
Conclusions: Our results reveal that prevention of premature separation of sister chromatids in meiosis I requires the retention of centromeric Sgo1, while normal separation of sister chromatids in meiosis II requires loss of centromeric Sgo1.