The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 57: 159 - 168 (2013)

Vol 57, Issue 2-3-4

Special Issue: Male Germ Cells in Development & Tumors

Role of cyclins in controlling progression of mammalian spermatogenesis

Published: 30 May 2013

Debra J. Wolgemuth*,1,2,3,4, Marcia Manterola1 and Ana Vasileva1,5

1Departments of Genetics & Development and 2Obstetrics & Gynecology, 3Institute of Human Nutrition, 4Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and 5Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA


Cyclins are key regulators of the mammalian cell cycle, functioning primarily in concert with their catalytic partners, the cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks). While their function during mitosis in somatic cells has been extensively documented, their function during both mitosis and meiosis in the germ line is poorly understood. From the perspective of cell cycle regulation there are several aspects of mammalian spermatogenesis that suggest unique modes of regulation and hence, possible unique functions for the cyclins. This review will summarize our current understanding of cyclin expression and function in the male germ line, with particular focus on the A and E type cyclins in the mouse model. While the focus is on mammalian spermatogenesis, we note contrasts with similar functions in the female germ line when relevant and also draw upon observations in other model systems to provide further insight.


cyclin, cell cycle, meiosis, spermatogenesis

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