Dissecting the mammalian synaptonemal complex using targeted mutations
- 587 Downloads
In many organisms completion of the first meiotic cell division depends on the correct assembly and disassembly of the synaptonemal complex (SC). This is a structure discovered a little over 50 years ago, which is formed by the close association of axes of homologous sister chromatid pairs. Its structure varies between organisms, although it retains a common tripartite organization in species as evolutionarily distant as budding yeast and humans. In mammals it is essential for crossover formation and completion of meiosis. Components of the mammalian SC have been identified only in the last 15 years, and mouse genetic approaches have started revealing the importance for this structure only in the past 5 years. Here we discuss the progress that has been made in the field of the mammalian SC and what approaches could be considered for its further study.
Key wordsmeiosis synaptonemal complex
- de Boer E, Stam P, Dietrich AJ, Pastink A, Heyting C (2006) Two levels of interference in mouse meiotic recombination. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 9607–9612.Google Scholar
- Hamer G, Gell K, Kouznetsova A et al. (2006) Characterization of a novel meiosis-specific protein within the central element of the synaptonemal complex. J Cell Sci 119: 4025–4032.Google Scholar
- Novak I, Lightfoot DA, Wang H et al. (2006) Mouse embryonic stem cells form follicle-like ovarian structures but do not progress through meiosis. Stem Cells 24: 1931–1936.Google Scholar