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  • Karen Schindler
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Research Focus: Understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to aneuploidy in female gametes
  • Subset Area: Model Organisms | Rodent, Genetics of Human Disease | Reproductive, Genetic Mechanisms | DNA Instability/Repair, Genetic Mechanisms | Reproduction/Meiosis
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  • Email:
  • Phone: (848) 445-2563
  • Address: Life Sciences Building Rutgers University 145 Bevier Rd Piscataway, NJ, 08854
  • Office: LSB 222
  • Fax: (732) 445-1147
  • News Items:
  • 12/7/22: Award | Congratulations Leela Biswas!
  • Research:

    Haploid gametes (sperm and eggs) are generated by meiosis and are essential for sexual reproduction. In females, meiosis is highly error-prone as ~5-20% of a young, healthy woman’s eggs contain an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploid). Aneuploidy is the leading cause of infertility, miscarriage and, in the case of live birth, developmental disorders such as Down Syndrome. Little is known, however, about how meiosis in females is regulated and why it is so prone to chromosome segregation mistakes. Research in our group uses the mouse oocyte model to understand how signal transduction networks, specifically at the level of protein kinases and protein phosphatases, regulate female meiosis.

  • Publications:

    Nguyen AL, Drutovic D, Vazquez B, El Yakoubi W, Gentilello AS, Malumbres M, Solc P, Schindler K. Genetic interactions among the three Aurora kinases reveal new functions in mammalian female meiosis. Current Biology. In press.

    Nguyen AL, Marin D, Scott R, Schindler K. (2018). A method to determine human gene function in meiosis using mouse oocytes. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (134), e57442, doi:10.3791/57442.

    Balboula AZ, Blengini C, Gentilello AS, Takahasi M, Schindler K. (2017). Maternal RNA regulates Aurora C kinase during mouse oocyte maturation in a translation-independent fashion. Biology of Reproduction. 96(6): 1197-1209.

    Quartuccio SM, Dipali SS, Schindler K. 2017. Haspin inhibition reveals functional differences of interchromatid axis-localized AURKB and AURKC. Molecular Biology of the Cell. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-12-0850. Epub ahead of print.

    Nguyen AL, Marin D, Zhou A, Smoak EM, Gentilello AS, Cao Z, Fedick A, Wang Y, Taylor D, Scott Jr. RT, Xing J, Treff N, Schindler K. 2017. Identification and characterization of Aurora Kinase B and C variants associated with maternal aneuploidy. Molecular Human Reproduction. 23(6): 406-16.

    Nguyen AL and Schindler K. 2017. Specialize and divide (twice): Functions of 3 Aurora kinase homologs in mammalian oocyte meiotic maturation. Trends in Genetics. 33(5): 349-63.

    Radford SJ, Nguyen AL, Schindler K, McKim KS. 2017. The chromosomal basis of meiotic acentrosomal spindle assembly and function in oocytes. Chromosoma. 126(3): 351-64.

    Ohring J and Schindler K. A Scrambled Mess. The Scientist. May 2016.

    Balboula AZ, Nguyen AL, Gentilello AS, Quartuccio SM, Drutovic D, Solc P, Schindler K. 2016. Haspin kinase regulates microtubule-organizing center clustering and stability through Aurora kinase C in mouse oocytes. Journal of Cell Science. 129(19): 3648-60.

    Fellmeth JE, Ghanaim ES, Schindler K. 2016. Characterization of macrozoospermia-associated AURKC mutations in a mammalian meiotic system. Human Molecular Genetics. 25(13): 2698-711.

    Quartuccio SM and Schindler K. 2015. Functions of Aurora kinase C in meiosis and cancer. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 3: 50.

    Fellmeth JE, Gordon D, Robins CE, Scott RT, Treff NR, Schindler K. 2015. Expression and characterization of three Aurora kinase C splice variants found in human oocytes. Molecular Human Reproduction. 21(8): 633-44.

    Balboula AZ, Stein P, Schultz RM, Schindler K. 2015. RBBP4 regulates histone deacetylation and bipolar spindle assembly during oocyte maturation in the mouse. Biology of Reproduction. 92(4): 105, 1-12.

    Nguyen AL, Gentilello AS, Balboula AZ, Shrivastava V, Ohring J, Schindler K. 2014. Phosphorylation of threonine 3 on histone 3 by Haspin kinase is required for meiosis I in mouse oocytes. Journal of Cell Science. 127(23): 5066-78.

    Balboula, AZ, and Schindler, K. 2014. Selective Disruption of Aurora C Kinase Reveals Distinct Functions From Aurora B Kinase During Meiosis in Mouse Oocytes. Plos Genetics.10(2):e1004194. 

    Balboula, AZ, Stein, P, Schultz, RM and Schindler, K. 2014. Knockdown of RBBP7 unveils a requirement of histone deacetylation for CPC function in mouse oocytes. Cell Cycle. 13(4):600-11. 

    Oh JS, Susor A, Schindler K, Schultz RM, Conti M. 2013. Cdc25A activity is required for the metaphase II arrest in mouse oocytes. Journal of Cell Science. 126(Pt 5): 1081-5. 

    Schindler K*, Davydenko O*, Fram B, Lampson MA, Schultz RM. 2012. Maternally-recruited Aurora C kinase is more stable than Aurora B to support mouse oocyte maturation and early development. PNAS 109(33): E2215-22.

    Schindler K. 2011. Protein kinases and protein phosphatases that regulate meiotic maturation in mouse oocytes. In: Cell Cycle in Development. (v. 53 of Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation) (Ed. by J. Kubiak). Springer, pg. 309-341.

    Stein P, Schindler K. 2011. Mouse oocyte microinjection, maturation and ploidy assessment. Journal of Visualized Experiments 53, 2851.

    Chiang T, Duncan FE, Schindler K, Schultz RM, Lampson MA. 2010. Weakened centromere cohesion is the primary cause of age-related aneuploidy in oocytes. Current Biology 20,1522-8.

    Buffone MG*, Schindler K*, and Schultz RM. 2009. Over-expression of CDC14B causes mitotic arrest and inhibits zygotic genome activation in mouse preimplantation embryos. Cell Cycle 8, 3904-3914.

    Shuda K*, Schindler K*, Ma J, Schultz RM, Donovan PJ. 2009. Aurora Kinase B modulates chromosome alignment in mouse oocytes. Molecular Reproduction and Development 76, 1094-105.

    Schindler K, Schultz RM. 2009. The CDC14A phosphatase regulates oocyte maturation in mouse. Cell Cycle 8, 1-9.

    Schindler K, Schultz RM. 2009. CDC14B acts through FZR1 (CDH1) to prevent meiotic maturation of mouse oocytes. Biology of Reproduction 80, 795-803.

    Moore M, Shin, ME, Bruning A, Schindler K, Vershon A, Winter E. 2007. Arg-Pro-X-Ser/Thr is a consensus phosphoacceptor sequence for the meiosis-specific Ime2 protein kinase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biochemistry 46, 271-8.

    Krishnamoorthy T, Chen X, Govin J, Cheun, WL, Dorsey J, Schindler K, Winter E, Allis CD, Guacci V, Khochbin S, Fuller MT, Berger SL. 2006. Phosphorylation of histone H4 Ser1 regulates sporulation in yeast and is conserved in fly and mouse spermatogenesis. Genes and Development 20, 2580-92.

    Schindler K, Winter E. 2006. Phosphorylation of Ime2p regulates meiotic progression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Biological Chemistry 281, 18307-16.

    Schindler K, Benjamin, KR, Martin A, Boglioli A, Herskowitz I, Winter E. 2003. The Cdk-activating kinase Cak1p promotes meiotic S phase through Ime2p. Molecular and Cellular Biology 23, 8718-28.

    Schaber M, Lindgren A, Schindler K, Bungard D, Kaldis P, Winter E. 2002. CAK1 promotes meiosis and spore formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a CDC28-independent fashion. Molecular and Cellular Biology 22, 57-68.

  • Publications PubMed: