The Chromosomal Courtship Dance-homolog pairing in early meiosis

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2014 Feb;26:123-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2013.12.004. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Abstract

The intermingling of genomes that characterizes sexual reproduction requires haploid gametes in which parental homologs have recombined. For this, homologs must pair during meiosis. In a crowded nucleus where sequence homology is obscured by the enormous scale and packaging of the genome, partner alignment is no small task. Here we review the early stages of this process. Chromosomes first establish an initial docking site, usually at telomeres or centromeres. The acquisition of chromosome-specific patterns of binding factors facilitates homolog recognition. Chromosomes are then tethered to the nuclear envelope (NE) and subjected to nuclear movements that 'shake off' inappropriate contacts while consolidating homolog associations. Thereafter, homolog connections are stabilized by building the synaptonemal complex or its equivalent and creating genetic crossovers. Recent perspectives on the roles of these stages will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Chromosome Pairing*
  • Chromosomes*
  • Humans
  • Meiosis*
  • RNA / genetics

Substances

  • RNA