Complete kinetochore tracking reveals error-prone homologous chromosome biorientation in mammalian oocytes

Cell. 2011 Aug 19;146(4):568-81. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.07.031.


Chromosomes must establish stable biorientation prior to anaphase to achieve faithful segregation during cell division. The detailed process by which chromosomes are bioriented and how biorientation is coordinated with spindle assembly and chromosome congression remain unclear. Here, we provide complete 3D kinetochore-tracking datasets throughout cell division by high-resolution imaging of meiosis I in live mouse oocytes. We show that in acentrosomal oocytes, chromosome congression forms an intermediate chromosome configuration, the prometaphase belt, which precedes biorientation. Chromosomes then invade the elongating spindle center to form the metaphase plate and start biorienting. Close to 90% of all chromosomes undergo one or more rounds of error correction of their kinetochore-microtubule attachments before achieving correct biorientation. This process depends on Aurora kinase activity. Our analysis reveals the error-prone nature of homologous chromosome biorientation, providing a possible explanation for the high incidence of aneuploid eggs observed in mammals, including humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Segregation*
  • Chromosomes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetochores / metabolism*
  • Meiosis
  • Mice
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Oocytes / cytology*