A master regulator of DNA replication, CDC6 also functions in the DNA-replication checkpoint by preventing DNA rereplication. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) regulate the amount and localization of CDC6 throughout the cell cycle; CDC6 phosphorylation after DNA replication initiation leads to its proteolysis in yeast or translocation to the cytoplasm in mammals. Overexpression of CDC6 during the late S phase prevents entry into the M phase by activating CHEK1 kinase that then inactivates CDK1/cyclin B, which is essential for the G2/M-phase transition. We analyzed the role of CDC6 during resumption of meiosis in mouse oocytes, which are arrested in the first meiotic prophase with low CDK1/cyclin B activity; this is similar to somatic cells at the G2/M-phase border. Overexpression of CDC6 in mouse oocytes does not prevent resumption of meiosis. The RNA interference-mediated knockdown of CDC6, however, reveals a new and unexpected function for CDC6; namely, it is essential for spindle formation in mouse oocytes.
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