Talk:Embryology History - Robert Winston

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, January 18) Embryology Embryology History - Robert Winston. Retrieved from


Cryptic splice sites and split genes

Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Aug;39(14):5837-44. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Kapustin Y, Chan E, Sarkar R, Wong F, Vorechovsky I, Winston RM, Tatusova T, Dibb NJ.

Source National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


We describe a new program called cryptic splice finder (CSF) that can reliably identify cryptic splice sites (css), so providing a useful tool to help investigate splicing mutations in genetic disease. We report that many css are not entirely dormant and are often already active at low levels in normal genes prior to their enhancement in genetic disease. We also report a fascinating correlation between the positions of css and introns, whereby css within the exons of one species frequently match the exact position of introns in equivalent genes from another species. These results strongly indicate that many introns were inserted into css during evolution and they also imply that the splicing information that lies outside some introns can be independently recognized by the splicing machinery and was in place prior to intron insertion. This indicates that non-intronic splicing information had a key role in shaping the split structure of eukaryote genes.

PMID 21470962


In vitro maturation of oocytes

Br Med Bull. 2000;56(3):588-602.

Hardy K, Wright CS, Franks S, Winston RM. Source Dept. of Reproductive Science and Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.


Only about 400 of the one million oocytes present at birth will be ovulated, while the rest will die by atresia. The ability to rescue oocytes destined to die and mature them in vitro would provide invaluable information about folliculogenesis and oocyte maturation, and could provide oocytes for infertile women. In vitro maturation (IVM) is challenging in the human because folliculogenesis is a lengthy process encompassing many complex cellular changes in the oocyte and its surrounding follicle cells. A few live births have resulted from the maturation and fertilization of immature human oocytes aspirated from small antral follicles. Furthermore, it is possible to grow primordial follicles to pre-antral stages in slices of ovarian tissue, and support antrum formation in isolated pre-antral follicles. However, we are still a considerable way from growing and maturing pre-antral follicles to pre-ovulatory stages in vitro. The importance of the follicular environment for producing a healthy and developmentally competent oocyte is illustrated by the oocyte's susceptibility to errors during meiosis. This counsels considerable caution in the development of IVM for clinical application.

PMID 11255547