Cell Division and Reproduction

Group leader

Worldwide it is estimated that 15% of couples have problems conceiving. One potential explanation for the recent decline in human fertility is a poor quality of germ cells or gametes (spermatozoids and oocytes). A major challenge for biologists is to understand the cause of this reduction in gametes quality.

A likely primary cause for poor germ cell quality is aneuploidy (a wrong number of chromosomes in the cell). Indeed, the vast majority of embryos formed from aneuploid gametes are non-viable and lead to spontaneous abortion. A few aneuploid embryos are viable, but lead to lifelong conditions such as Trisomy 21/Down Syndrome (due to an extra chromosome 21) with a prevalence of ~1:1000 live births in the general population. Aneuploidy usually arises from errors in the process of chromosome segregation during cell division.

Our project aims at understanding the mechanisms that promote production of oocytes with a correct number of chromosomes, which is essential for the generation of viable and normal embryos and thus for successful reproduction. We use a multidisciplinary approach that combines genetics, cell biology, cutting edge microscopy technics and the use of the powerful Caenorhabditis elegans model system.

Sélection of publications

Lacroix, B., Letort, G., Pitayu, L., Sallé, J., Stefanutti, M., Maton, G., Ladouceur, AM., Canman, J.C., Maddox, PS., Maddox, AS., Minc, N., Nédélec, F. & Dumont, J.
Microtubule dynamics scale with cell size to set spindle length and assembly timing.
Dev Cell, 45:496-511 e496, (2018).

Laband, K., Le Borgne, R., Edwards, F., Stefanutti, M., Canman, J.C., Verbavatz, J-M. & Dumont, J.
Chromosome segregation occurs by microtubule pushing in oocytes
Nat Comm, Nov 14;8(1):1499, (2017).

Gigant, E.*, Stefanutti, M.*, Laband, K., Gluszek-Kustusz, A., Edwards, F., Maton, G., Lacroix, B., Canman, J.C., Welburn, J. & Dumont, J.
Inhibition of ectopic microtubule assembly by the kinesin-13 KLP-7MCAK prevents chromosome segregation and cytokinesis defects in oocytes
Development, 144(9):1674-1686 (2017).

Hattersley, N., Cheerambathur, D., Moyle, M., Stefanutti, M., Richardson, A., Lee, K.Y., Dumont, J., Oegema, K., & Desai, A.
A Nucleoporin Docks Protein Phosphatase 1 to Direct Meiotic Chromosome Segregation and Nuclear Assembly
Dev Cell, 35, (5):463-477 (2016).

Maton, G.*, Edwards, F.*, Lacroix, B., Stefanutti, M., Laband, K., Lieury, T., Kim, T., Espeut, J., Canman, J.C., & Dumont, J.
Kinetochore components are required for central spindle assembly
Nat Cell Biol 17(5):697-705 (2015). (*co-first authors)

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