It is widely accepted that the H2AX histone in its phosphorylated form (gamma-H2AX) is related to the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In several organisms, gamma-H2AX presence has been demonstrated in meiotic processes such as recombination and sex chromosome inactivation during prophase I (from leptotene to pachytene). To test whether gamma-H2AX is present beyond pachytene, we have analysed the complete sequence of changes in H2AX phosphorylation during meiosis in grasshopper, a model organism for meiotic studies at the cytological level. We show the presence of phosphorylated H2AX during most of meiosis, with the exception only of diplotene and the end of each meiotic division. During the first meiotic division, gamma-H2AX is associated with i) recombination, as deduced from its presence in leptotene-zygotene over all chromosome length, ii) X chromosome inactivation, since at pachytene gamma-H2AX is present in the X chromosome only, and iii) chromosome segregation, as deduced from gamma-H2AX presence in centromere regions at first metaphase-anaphase. During second meiotic division, gamma-H2AX was very abundant at most chromosome lengths from metaphase to telophase, suggesting its possible association with the maintenance of chromosome condensation and segregation.
Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.