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Qing-Yuan SUN, Ph. D.

Molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian oocyte meiotic maturation, fertilization and early embryo development

Co-workers: Zhiming Han, Yingchun Ouyang, Zhenbo Wang, Yi Hou, Xueshan Ma, Shibin Chao, Lei Guo, Qiuxia Liang, Yue Yuan, Teng Zhang, Tiegang Meng, Lihua Fan, Qian Zhou, Wenlong Lei

• SUN Group website


Shugoshin 1 regulates chromosome segregation during mouse oocyte meiosis

Overexpression of SAC protein Bub3 prevents metaphase-to-anaphase transition and homologous chromosome segregation during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation

Overexpression of SETβcause premature chromatid separation during mouse oocyte meiosis

Oocyte-specific deletion of Cdc42 causes failure of polar body emission



Plain english:
  Infertility, spontaneous abortion and genetic disease risk are closely related with oocyte quality. While the ARTs have brought babies for millions of infertile couples, the success rate is still low. More evidence shows that embryo quality is mainly determined by oocyte. After birth, oocytes in mammalian ovaries are arrested at prophase of first meiosis, manifested by the germinal vesicle (GV) located at the center of the oocyte. Oocyte maturation, the final step of oogenesis, begins with the germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and ends with the first polar body emission, awaiting fertilization. During the program of oocyte maturation, two important processes must take place. First, during meiosis I, homologous chromosomes segregate, followed by second meiosis that takes place after fertilization, to ensure haploid gamete production. Second, the two meiotic divisions must occur asymmetrically to maintain almost all the cytoplasm in the egg to support early embryogenesis. Meiotic errors do occur, especially as women get older. Our research focuses on female meiosis where we use oocyte specific conditional knockout and imaging based techniques to explore the regulation of this process. We are interested in how the two meiotic divisions are controlled at a molecular level. In addition we also use several reproduction-related animals models (diabetes, obesity, PCOS, insulin-resistence etc) and clinical materials to study factors affecting oocyte quality which affects fertilization and embryo development.


Selected publications:

  1. Ma XS, Lin F, Wang ZW, Hu MW, Huang L, Meng TG, Jiang ZZ, Schatten H, Wang ZB, Sun QY*. Geminin Deletion in Mouse Oocytes Results in Impaired Embryo Development and Reduced Fertility. Mol Biol Cell. 2016 Jan 13. pii: mbc.E15-06-0346. [Epub ahead of print]
  2.  Hu MW, Wang ZB, Teng Y, Jiang ZZ, Ma XS, Hou N, Cheng X, Schatten H, Xu X*, Yang X*, Sun QY*. Loss of protein phosphatase 6 in oocytes causes failure of meiosis II exit and impaired female fertility. J Cell Sci. 2015 Oct 15;128(20):3769-80. (Commented in this issue, cover paper)
  3. Wei Y, Yang CR, Wei YP, Ge ZJ, Zhao ZA, Zhang B, Hou Y, Schatten H, Sun QY*. Enriched Environment-Induced Maternal Weight Loss Reprograms Metabolic Gene Expression in Mouse Offspring. J Biol Chem. 2015, 20;290(8):4604-19.
  4. Wei YC,Schatten H, Sun QY*. Environmental epigenetic inheritance through gametes and implications for human reproduction. Hum Reprod Update 2015 Mar-Apr;21(2):194-208
  5.  Wei Y, Yang CR, Wei YP, Zhao ZA, Hou Y, Schatten H, Sun QY*. Paternally induced transgenerational inheritance of susceptibility to diabetes in mammals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Feb 4;111(5):1873-8.
  6.  Qiao J, Wang ZB, Feng HL, Miao YL, Wang Q, Yu Y, Wei YC, Yan J, Wang WH, Shen W, Sun SC, Schatten H, Sun QY*. The Root of Reduced Fertility in Aged Women and Possible Therapeutic Options: Current Status and Future Perspectives. Mol Aspects Med. 2014 Aug;38:54-85.
  7.  Ge ZJ, Luo SM, Lin F, Liang QX, Huang L, Wei YC, Hou Y, Han ZM, Schatten H, Sun QY*. DNA Methylation in Oocytes and Liver of Female Mice and Their Offspring: Effects of High-Fat-Diet-Induced Obesity. Environ Health Perspect. 2013 2014 Feb;122(2):159-64.
  8. Yu C, Zhang YL, Pan WW, Li XM, Wang ZW, Ge ZJ, Zhou JJ, Cang Y, Tong C, Sun QY*, Fan HY*. CRL4 complex regulates mammalian oocyte survival and reprogramming by activation of TET proteins. Science. 2013, 342(6165):1518-21.
  9.  Wang ZB, Jiang ZZ, Zhang QH, Hu MW, Huang L, Ou XH, Guo L, Ouyang YC, Hou Y, Brakebusch C, Schatten H, Sun QY*. Specific deletion of Cdc42 does not affect meiotic spindle organization/migration and homologous chromosome segregation, but disrupts polarity establishment and cytokinesis in mouse oocyte. Mol Biol Cell. 2013, 24: 3832-3841.
  10. Luo SM, Ge ZJ, Wang ZW, Jiang ZZ, Wang ZB, Ouyang YC, Hou Y, Schatten h, Sun QY*. Unique insights into maternal mitochondrial inheritance in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013, 110(32):13038-13043
  11.  Qi ST, Wang ZB, Ouyang YC, Zhang QH, Hu MW, Huang X, Ge ZJ, Guo L, Wang YP, Hou Y, Schatten H, Sun QY* Overexpression of SETβ, a protein localizing to centromeres, causes precocious separation of chromatids during the first meiosis of mouse oocyte. J Cell Sci 2013, 126, 1595–1603.
  12.  Luo SM, Sun QY*. Autophagy Is Not Involved in the Degradation of Sperm Mitochondria after Fertilization in Mice. Autophagy 2013;9(12):2156-2157.