Meiosis is a highly regulated and complex variation on the canonical cell cycle. It depends on the activity of most of the known mitotic cell cycle regulators, as well as many meiosis-specific factors that interact with and modify the activities of this core cell cycle machinery. This review will examine the roles of known mitotic cell cycle regulators and meiosis-specific factors in Drosophila female meiosis, focusing on three important meiotic events: nuclear envelope breakdown or maturation, establishment of the meiosis I spindle, and release from metaphase I arrest at ovulation. Many meiotic processes are controlled by the mitotic kinase, Cdk1 with its cyclin partners, cyclins A, B, and B3. Other major mitotic kinases, including Polo and Aurora B have been found to play multiple roles in Drosophila meiosis. The Anaphase Promoting Complex or Cyclosome (APC/C) controls many meiotic processes through regulation of Cdk1, the sister chromatid cohesion regulator, Separase and other targets. This review will focus on these and other meiotic regulators, emphasizing some of the technical advances that have driven the field forward in recent years, and highlighting gaps that need to be filled to achieve a more complete picture of how meiosis is regulated in Drosophila.
Part of the book: Drosophila melanogaster