Diverse roles for CDK-associated activity during spermatogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The primary function of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) in complex with their activating cyclin partners, is to promote mitotic division in somatic cells. This canonical cell cycle-associated activity is also crucial for fertility as it allows the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells within the reproductive organs to generate meiotically competent cells. Intriguingly several CDKs exhibit meiosis-specific functions and are essential for the completion of the two reductional meiotic divisions required to generate haploid gametes. These meiosis-specific functions are mediated by both known CDK/cyclin complexes and meiosis-specific CDK-regulators and are important for a variety of processes during meiotic prophase. The majority of meiotic defects observed upon deletion of these proteins occur during the extended prophase I of the first meiotic division. Importantly a lack of redundancy is seen within the meiotic arrest phenotypes described for many of these proteins suggesting intricate layers of cell cycle control are required for normal meiotic progression. Using the process of male germ cell development (spermatogenesis) as a reference, this review seeks to highlight the diverse roles of selected CDKs their activators, and their regulators during gametogenesis.


External organisations
  • National University of Singapore
  • A*Star Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2925-2949
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch