Casein Kinase 1 and Phosphorylation of Cohesin Subunit Rec11 (SA3) Promote Meiotic Recombination through Linear Element Formation

PLoS Genet. 2015 May 20;11(5):e1005225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005225. eCollection 2015 May.


Proper meiotic chromosome segregation, essential for sexual reproduction, requires timely formation and removal of sister chromatid cohesion and crossing-over between homologs. Early in meiosis cohesins hold sisters together and also promote formation of DNA double-strand breaks, obligate precursors to crossovers. Later, cohesin cleavage allows chromosome segregation. We show that in fission yeast redundant casein kinase 1 homologs, Hhp1 and Hhp2, previously shown to regulate segregation via phosphorylation of the Rec8 cohesin subunit, are also required for high-level meiotic DNA breakage and recombination. Unexpectedly, these kinases also mediate phosphorylation of a different meiosis-specific cohesin subunit Rec11. This phosphorylation in turn leads to loading of linear element proteins Rec10 and Rec27, related to synaptonemal complex proteins of other species, and thereby promotes DNA breakage and recombination. Our results provide novel insights into the regulation of chromosomal features required for crossing-over and successful reproduction. The mammalian functional homolog of Rec11 (STAG3) is also phosphorylated during meiosis and appears to be required for fertility, indicating wide conservation of the meiotic events reported here.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Casein Kinase I / genetics
  • Casein Kinase I / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Chromosome Segregation*
  • Cohesins
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Homologous Recombination
  • Meiosis
  • Mutation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA, Fungal
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • hhp1 protein, S pombe
  • hhp2 protein, S pombe
  • Casein Kinase I