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The role of the cohesin complex in pre-DSB pairing during mammalian meiosis

Friday, November 08, 2013 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • KA Boateng
  • RD Camerini-Otero


Homologous recombination in meiosis is the central phenomenon in eukaryotic genetics. It ensures the proper segregation of chromosomes and is the main force shaping the evolution of genomes. In order to recombine, chromosomes must find their homologous partner (homologs) and establish an association in a process known as pairing. It is widely believed that in most organisms the alignment and pairing of homologs results from a genome-wide search for homology triggered by the introduction of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by SPO11 during prophase I, and mediated by the homologous recombination machinery itself. We recently reported (Boateng, et al., Dev. Cell 2013) that in the mouse a significant level of homolog pairing precedes DNA cleavage and that a DSB independent activity of SPO11, and the telomere anchoring protein, SUN1, are both required for this early pre-DSB pairing. To further elucidate the molecular mechanism governing the DSB-independent pairing, we investigated the role of the cohesin complex in Pre-DSB pairing. Analysis of pairing prior to SPO11 mediated cleavage in mice lacking Rec8 or Rad21L or both revealed that the cohesin complex also plays a significant role in this early pairing similar to its role in the late pairing (synapsis) later in prophase.

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