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Telomere attachment, meiotic chromosome condensation, pairing, and bouquet stage duration are modified in spermatocytes lacking axial elements

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Liebe,  Bodo
Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons50515

Scherthan,  Harry
Dept. of Human Molecular Genetics (Head: Hans-Hilger Ropers), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Liebe, B., Alsheimer, M., Höög, C., Benavente, R., & Scherthan, H. (2004). Telomere attachment, meiotic chromosome condensation, pairing, and bouquet stage duration are modified in spermatocytes lacking axial elements. Molecular Biology of the Cell: the Official Publication of the American Society for Cell Biology, 15(2), 827-837. doi:10.1091/mbc.E03-07-0524.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-88DB-3
Abstract
During the extended prophase to the meiosis I division, chromosomes assemble axial elements (AE) along replicated sister chromatids whose ends attach to the inner nuclear membrane (NM) via a specialized conical thickening. Here, we show at the EM level that in Sycp3-/- spermatocyte chromosomes lack the AE and the conical end thickening, but still they attach their telomeres to the inner NM with an electron-dense plate that contains T2AG3 repeats. Immunofluorescence detected telomere proteins, SCP2, and the meiosis-specific cohesin STAG3 at the Sycp3-/- telomere. Bouquet stage spermatocytes were approximately threefold enriched, and the number of telomere but not centromere signals was reduced to the haploid in advanced Sycp3-/- spermatocytes, which indicates a special mode of homolog pairing at the mammalian telomere. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with mouse chromosome 8- and 12-specific subsatellite probes uncovered reduced levels of regional homolog pairing, whereas painting of chromosomes 13 revealed partial or complete juxtapositioning of homologs; however, condensation of Sycp3-/- bivalents was defective. Electron microscopic analysis of AE-deficient spermatocytes revealed that transverse filaments formed short structures reminiscent of the synaptonemal complex central region, which likely mediate stable homolog pairing. It appears that the AE is required for chromosome condensation, rapid exit from the bouquet stage, and fine-tuning of homolog pairing.