A Family of Zinc Finger Proteins Is Required forChromosome-specific Pairing and Synapsis during Meiosis in C.elegans
Description: Homologous chromosome pairing and synapsis are prerequisitefor accurate chromosome segregation during meiosis. Here, we show that afamily of four related C2H2 zinc-finger proteins plays a central role inthese events in C. elegans. These proteins are encoded within a tandemgene cluster. In addition to the X-specific HIM-8 protein, threeadditional paralogs collectively mediate the behavior of the fiveautosomes. Each chromosome relies on a specific member of the family topair and synapse with its homolog. These "ZIM" proteins concentrate atspecial regions called meiotic pairing centers on the correspondingchromosomes. These sites are dispersed along the nuclear envelope duringearly meiotic prophase, suggesting a role analogous to thetelomere-mediated meiotic bouquet in other organisms. To gain insightinto the evolution of these components, wecharacterized homologs in C.briggsae and C. remanei, which revealed changes in copy number of thisgene family within the nematode lineage.
Date: June 7, 2006
Creator: Phillips, Carolyn M. & Dernburg, Abby F.
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