From meiosis to postmeiotic events: Alignment and recognition of homologous chromosomes in meiosis

Kobe Advanced ICT Research Center, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Kobe, Japan.
FEBS Journal (Impact Factor: 4). 12/2009; 277(3):565-70. DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07501.x
Source: PubMed


Recombination of homologous chromosomes is essential for correct reductional segregation of homologous chromosomes, which characterizes meiosis. To accomplish homologous recombination, chromosomes must find their homologous partners and pair with them within the spatial constraints of the nucleus. Although various mechanisms have developed in different organisms, two major steps are involved in the process of pairing: first, alignment of homologous chromosomes to bring them close to each other for recognition; and second, recognition of the homologous partner of each chromosome so that they can form an intimate pair. Here, we discuss the various mechanisms used for alignment and recognition of homologous chromosomes in meiosis.

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    • "How homologous chromosomes recognize and pair are the least understood meiotic processes (Ronceret and Pawlowski, 2010). Different mechanisms have been reported to be involved in chromosome recognition such as those depending on chromatin structure (Prieto et al., 2004; Phillips and Dernburg, 2006; Ding et al., 2010), loci of high transcription rate (McKee, 1996; Wilson et al., 2005), specific non-coding RNAs (Ding et al., 2012), and cytoskeleton-driven chromosome movements (Ding et al., 2010; Labrador et al., 2013). In recent years, important studies have shed light into the genetic control and progression of meiosis in rice through the characterization of mutants altered in meiotic processes and/or sterile phenotypes (Nonomura et al., 2007, 2011; Yu et al., 2010; Che et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Transfer of genetic traits from wild or related species into cultivated rice is nowadays an important aim in rice breeding. Breeders use genetic crosses to introduce desirable genes from exotic germplasms into cultivated rice varieties. However, in many hybrids there is only a low level of pairing (if existing) and recombination at early meiosis between cultivated rice and wild relative chromosomes. With the objective of getting deeper into the knowledge of the proteins involved in early meiosis, when chromosomes associate correctly in pairs and recombine, the proteome of isolated rice meiocytes has been characterized by nLC-MS/MS at every stage of early meiosis (prophase I). Up to 1316 different proteins have been identified in rice isolated meiocytes in early meiosis, being 422 exclusively identified in early prophase I (leptotene, zygotene, or pachytene). The classification of proteins in functional groups showed that 167 were related to chromatin structure and remodeling, nucleic acid binding, cell-cycle regulation, and cytoskeleton. Moreover, the putative roles of 16 proteins which have not been previously associated to meiosis or were not identified in rice before, are also discussed namely: seven proteins involved in chromosome structure and remodeling, five regulatory proteins [such as SKP1 (OSK), a putative CDK2 like effector], a protein with RNA recognition motifs, a neddylation-related protein, and two microtubule-related proteins. Revealing the proteins involved in early meiotic processes could provide a valuable tool kit to manipulate chromosome associations during meiosis in rice breeding programs. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with the PXD001058 identifier.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Frontiers in Plant Science
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    • "We constructed a strain carrying a mug20 deletion. In this strain, the progression of meiotic stages was normal with horsetail nuclei (Ding et al. 2010) and the first and second division timed normally (Fig. 1a). Sporulation efficiency was 89.1% (±7.4 SD; mean of four experiments with n = 1,600 cells) which did not differ notably from wild-type levels (91.8% ± 1.9; mean of four experiments with n = 1,600 cells). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, homologous chromosomes efficiently pair and recombine during meiotic prophase without forming a canonical synaptonemal complex (SC). Instead, it features simpler filamentous structures, the so-called linear elements (LinEs), which bear some resemblance to the axial/lateral element subunits of the SC. LinEs are required for wild-type recombination frequency. Here, we recognized Mug20, the product of a meiotically upregulated gene, as a LinE-associated protein. GFP-tagged Mug20 and anti-Mug20 antibody co-localized completely with Rec10, one of the major constituents of LinEs. In the absence of Mug20, LinEs failed to elongate beyond their initial state of nuclear dots. Foci of recombination protein Rad51 and genetic recombination were reduced. Since meiotic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), which initiate recombination, are induced at sites of preformed LinEs, we suggest that reduced recombination is a consequence of incomplete LinE extension. Therefore, we propose that Mug20 is required to extend LinEs from their sites of origin and thereby to increase DSB proficient regions on chromosomes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Current Genetics
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    • "In mammals, the SC is made up of multiple proteins including SC proteins 1, 2 and 3 (SYCP1, 2 and 3), SC central element proteins 1 and 2 (SYCE1 and SYCE2) and testis-expressed gene 12 (TEX12) (Costa and Cooke, 2007), but these will not be discussed further here. A detailed review of proteins that are involved in homologue pairing and synapsis, as well as recent insights into meiotic pairing centres in C. elegans that are beyond the scope of this review can be found elsewhere (Costa and Cooke, 2007; Ding et al., 2010; Lynn et al., 2007; Yang and Wang, 2009; Zetka, 2009; Zickler, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Meiotic crossovers are essential for ensuring correct chromosome segregation as well as for creating new combinations of alleles for natural selection to take place. During meiosis, excess meiotic double-strand breaks (DSBs) are generated; a subset of these breaks are repaired to form crossovers, whereas the remainder are repaired as non-crossovers. What determines where meiotic DSBs are created and whether a crossover or non-crossover will be formed at any particular DSB remains largely unclear. Nevertheless, several recent papers have revealed important insights into the factors that control the decision between crossover and non-crossover formation in meiosis, including DNA elements that determine the positioning of meiotic DSBs, and the generation and processing of recombination intermediates. In this review, we focus on the factors that influence DSB positioning, the proteins required for the formation of recombination intermediates and how the processing of these structures generates either a crossover or non-crossover in various organisms. A discussion of crossover interference, assurance and homeostasis, which influence crossing over on a chromosome-wide and genome-wide scale - in addition to current models for the generation of interference - is also included. This Commentary aims to highlight recent advances in our understanding of the factors that promote or prevent meiotic crossing over.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Journal of Cell Science
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