Wrestling with Chromosomes: The Roles of SUMO During Meiosis

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;963:185-196. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-50044-7_11.


Meiosis is a specialized form of cell division required for the formation of haploid gametes and therefore is essential for successful sexual reproduction. Various steps are exquisitely coordinated to ensure accurate chromosome segregation during meiosis, thereby promoting the formation of haploid gametes from diploid cells. Recent studies are demonstrating that an important form of regulation during meiosis is exerted by the post-translational protein modification known as sumoylation. Here, we review and discuss the various critical steps of meiosis in which SUMO-mediated regulation has been implicated thus far. These include the maintenance of meiotic centromeric heterochromatin , meiotic DNA double-strand break repair and homologous recombination, centromeric coupling, and the assembly of a proteinaceous scaffold between homologous chromosomes known as the synaptonemal complex.

Keywords: Double-strand break repair; Homology sorting; Meiosis; SUMO; Synaptonemal complex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / chemistry
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Chromosomes / metabolism*
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Meiosis*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Small Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sumoylation*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*


  • Heterochromatin
  • Small Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases