Synaptonemal complex stability depends on repressive histone marks of the lateral element-associated repeat sequences

Chromosoma. 2010 Feb;119(1):41-58. doi: 10.1007/s00412-009-0243-3. Epub 2009 Oct 9.


The synaptonemal complex (SC) is the central key structure for meiosis in organisms undergoing sexual reproduction. During meiotic prophase I, homologous chromosomes exchange genetic information at the time they are attached to the lateral elements by specific DNA sequences. Most of these sequences, so far identified, consist of repeat DNA, which are subject to chromatin structural changes during meiotic prophase I. In this work, we addressed the effect of altering the chromatin structure of repeat DNA sequences mediating anchorage to the lateral elements of the SC. Administration of the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A into live rats caused death of cells in the pachytene stage as well as changes in histone marks along the synaptonemal complex. The most notable effect was partial loss of histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation. Our work describes the epigenetic landscape of lateral element-associated chromatin and reveals a critical role of histone marks in synaptonemal complex integrity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Chromosomes / metabolism
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Meiotic Prophase I
  • Protein Stability
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / chemistry*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / genetics
  • Synaptonemal Complex / metabolism
  • Testis / chemistry
  • Testis / cytology
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Histones