Merotelic attachments allow alignment and stabilization of chromatids in meiosis II oocytes.

Nature communications

PubMedID: 25007239

Kouznetsova A, Hernández-Hernández A, Höög C. Merotelic attachments allow alignment and stabilization of chromatids in meiosis II oocytes. Nat Commun. 2014;54409.
The chromosome segregation process in human oocytes is highly error-prone, generating meiosis II (MII) oocytes with unbalanced chromatids that contribute to aneuploidy in offspring. This raises questions regarding the mechanism for transmission of chromatids and how chromatids evade the error correction mechanisms in MII oocytes. Here, we analyse the behaviour of chromatids in mouse MII oocytes. We find that chromatids align at the spindle equator at the metaphase stage of MII and that their presence does not obstruct entry into the anaphase stage. The alignment process is mediated by merotelic (bi-directional) microtubule-kinetochore attachments, revealing a multi-domain organization of the kinetochore of mammalian meiotic chromosomes. Our results suggest that biorientation of chromatids stabilize microtubule attachments at the kinetochores in a tension-dependent manner. Our results also suggest that merotelic attachments contribute to chromosome mis-segregation in wild-type MII oocytes. Thus, merotely is an important promoter of aneuploidy in mammalian oocytes.