Kinesin-1 prevents capture of the oocyte meiotic spindle by the sperm aster

Dev Cell. 2012 Apr 17;22(4):788-98. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.01.010. Epub 2012 Mar 29.


Centrioles are lost during oogenesis and inherited from the sperm at fertilization. In the zygote, the centrioles recruit pericentriolar proteins from the egg to form a mature centrosome that nucleates a sperm aster. The sperm aster then captures the female pronucleus to join the maternal and paternal genomes. Because fertilization occurs before completion of female meiosis, some mechanism must prevent capture of the meiotic spindle by the sperm aster. Here we show that in wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans zygotes, maternal pericentriolar proteins are not recruited to the sperm centrioles until after completion of meiosis. Depletion of kinesin-1 heavy chain or its binding partner resulted in premature centrosome maturation during meiosis and growth of a sperm aster that could capture the oocyte meiotic spindle. Kinesin prevents recruitment of pericentriolar proteins by coating the sperm DNA and centrioles and thus prevents triploidy by a nonmotor mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Centrioles / metabolism*
  • Centrosome / physiology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Female
  • Fertilization
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Kinesin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Kinesin / genetics
  • Kinesin / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Meiosis / physiology*
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Oogenesis / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / cytology
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • KCA-1 protein, C elegans
  • Kinesin