University of Dundee

4 Year Wellcome Trust PhD Programme: Analysis of protein-protein interactions during meiosis

Gametes are formed by two successive rounds of cell division that occur after one round of chromosome replication. The first round (Meiosis I) separates the pairs of chromosomes, and the second (Meiosis II) separates the sister chromatids to produce the gametes, each of which has half the original amount of genetic information. Approximately 30% of human zygotes have abnormal chromosomal content at conception due to defects in meiosis. Such aneuploidy is a leading cause of miscarriages and other birth defects. Progression through meiosis is tightly controlled and regulation of protein-protein interactions play a major role in this process. By using a combination of biochemical and advanced microscopy approaches, we will gain insight into the role and regulation of key protein complexes during meiosis. Understanding the temporal and spatial regulation of their assembly and disassembly will allow us to better understand the fine control that meiotic progression is subject to. To achieve this, we will use the nematode C. elegans as a model system, which provides an excellent model for the study of meiosis.

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