Regulation of oocyte maturation: Role of conserved ERK signaling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


During oogenesis, oocytes arrest at meiotic prophase I to acquire competencies for resuming meiosis, fertilization, and early embryonic development. Following this arrested period, oocytes resume meiosis in response to species-specific hormones, a process known as oocyte maturation, that precedes ovulation and fertilization. Involvement of endocrine and autocrine/paracrine factors and signaling events during maintenance of prophase I arrest, and resumption of meiosis is an area of active research. Studies in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms have delineated the molecular determinants and signaling pathways that regulate oocyte maturation. Cell cycle regulators, such as cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK1), polo-like kinase (PLK1), Wee1/Myt1 kinase, and the phosphatase CDC25 play conserved roles during meiotic resumption. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), on the other hand, while activated during oocyte maturation in all species, regulates both species-specific, as well as conserved events among different organisms. In this review, we synthesize the general signaling mechanisms and focus on conserved and distinct functions of ERK signaling pathway during oocyte maturation in mammals, non-mammalian vertebrates, and invertebrates such as Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-374
Number of pages22
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • cyclin B/CDK1
  • ERK
  • meiosis
  • oocyte maturation
  • oogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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