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This content will become publicly available on March 17, 2015

Title: Direct visualization reveals kinetics of meiotic chromosome synapsis

The synaptonemal complex (SC) is a conserved protein complex that stabilizes interactions along homologous chromosomes (homologs) during meiosis. The SC regulates genetic exchanges between homologs, thereby enabling reductional division and the production of haploid gametes. Here, we directly observe SC assembly (synapsis) by optimizing methods for long-term fluorescence recording in C. elegans. We report that synapsis initiates independently on each chromosome pair at or near pairing centers—specialized regions required for homolog associations. Once initiated, the SC extends rapidly and mostly irreversibly to chromosome ends. Quantitation of SC initiation frequencies and extension rates reveals that initiation is a rate-limiting step in homolog interactions. Eliminating the dynein-driven chromosome movements that accompany synapsis severely retards SC extension, revealing a new role for these conserved motions. This work provides the first opportunity to directly observe and quantify key aspects of meiotic chromosome interactions and will enable future in vivo analysis of germline processes.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (United States); Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (United States); Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Cell Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 10; Related Information: Supplemental Information includes Supplemental Experimental Procedures, four figures, and ten movies and can be found with this open access article online at; Journal ID: ISSN 2211-1247
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Inst. of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD (United States). NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR); Howard Hughes Medical Inst., Chevy Chase, MD (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States