Protein SYCP2 is an ancient component of the metazoan synaptonemal complex

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2014;144(4):299-305. doi: 10.1159/000381080. Epub 2015 Mar 28.


During the first meiotic prophase, chromosome synapsis is mediated by the synaptonemal complex (SC), an evolutionarily conserved meiosis-specific structure. In mammals, 7 SC protein components have been identified so far. Despite some controversy in the past, we have shown that SC proteins are ancient in metazoans and very likely formed an ancestral SC structure in the ancestor of metazoans. Protein components SYCP1, SYCP3, SYCE2, and TEX12 were identified in basal-branching metazoans, while other components (SYCE1 and SYCE3) are more recent elements. However, the evolutionary history of mammalian SYCP2 is not known. Here, we investigated this aspect with the aid of bioinformatic tools as well as with RNA and protein expression analysis. We conclude that SYCP2 belongs to the group of ancient SC proteins that was already present in the common ancestor of metazoans more than 500 million years ago.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Hydra / anatomy & histology
  • Hydra / classification
  • Hydra / genetics
  • Hydra / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mammals / anatomy & histology
  • Mammals / genetics
  • Mammals / metabolism*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Synaptonemal Complex / genetics*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / metabolism*
  • Testis / metabolism*