Starting at the End

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Science  08 Jun 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5830, pp. 1395
DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5830.1395a

As sex cells divide during meiosis, homologous chromosomes pair up, form a synaptonemal complex with the aid of the lateral element SYCP3 and the transverse element SYCP1, and exchange genetic material. This recombination takes place before chromosome segregation and results in increased genetic diversity. Before pairing, however, the telomeric regions (the ends) of chromosomes can be observed to localize and cluster at the nuclear envelope. By generating knockout mice, Ding et al. show that the protein SUN1 participates in attaching telomeres to the nuclear membrane. When SUN1 is eliminated, telomeres no longer adhere to the nuclear envelope, and chromosomes are defective in synapsis and recombination. This results in mice that are infertile because of a failure to produce male and female gametes. Hence, telomeric clustering is necessary for successful meiosis in mice and is required for proper spermatogenesis and oogenesis. — BAP

Dev. Cell 12, 10.1016/j.devcel.2007.03.018 (2007).

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