S. pombe linear elements: the modest cousins of synaptonemal complexes

Chromosoma. 2006 Jun;115(3):260-71. doi: 10.1007/s00412-006-0047-7. Epub 2006 Mar 11.


Synaptonemal complexes (SCs) are not formed during meiotic prophase in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Instead, so-called linear elements (LinEs) are formed at the corresponding stages. LinEs are remarkable in that their number does not correspond to the number of chromosomes or bivalents and that the changes in their organisation during prophase do not evidently reflect the pairing of chromosomes. Yet, LinEs are necessary for full meiotic pairing levels and for meiotic recombination. In this review, the composition of LinEs, their evolutionary relationship to SCs and their possible functions are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Cell Nucleus Structures / physiology
  • Meiosis*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / physiology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / genetics
  • Synaptonemal Complex / physiology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins