Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Cell biology

Thanks for the memory

In response to a transient hormonal cue, a developing egg commits irreversibly to a mature state. Surprisingly, this irreversible switch is composed of intrinsically reversible components.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: No turning back.


  1. Xiong, W. & Ferrell, J. E. Jr Nature 426, 460–465 (2003).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Masui, Y. & Markert, C. L. J. Exp. Zool. 177, 129–145 (1971).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Gautier, J., Norbury, C. H., Lohka, M., Nurse, P. & Maller, J. L. Cell 54, 433–439 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Gautier, J. et al. Cell 60, 487–494 (1990).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kosako, H., Gotoh, Y. & Nisheda, E. EMBO J. 13, 2131–2138 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Schmitt, A. & Nebreda, A. R. J. Cell Sci. 115, 2457–2459 (2002).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Abrieu, A., Doree, M. & Fisher, D. J. Cell Sci. 114, 257–267 (2001).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Ferrell, J. E. Jr & Xiong, W. Chaos 11, 227–236 (2001).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Pomerening, J. R., Sontag, E. D. & Ferrell, J. E. Jr Nature Cell Biol. 5, 346–351 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Sha, W. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 100, 975–980 (2003).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sible, J. Thanks for the memory. Nature 426, 392–393 (2003).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing