The telomere bouquet facilitates meiotic prophase progression and exit in fission yeast

Cell Discov. 2017 Nov 7:3:17041. doi: 10.1038/celldisc.2017.41. eCollection 2017.


During meiotic prophase, chromosome arrangement and oscillation promote the pairing of homologous chromosomes for meiotic recombination. This dramatic movement involves clustering of telomeres at the nuclear membrane to form the so-called telomere bouquet. In fission yeast, the telomere bouquet is formed near the spindle pole body (SPB), which is the microtubule organising centre, functionally equivalent to the metazoan centrosome. Disruption of bouquet configuration impedes homologous chromosome pairing, meiotic recombination and spindle formation. Here, we demonstrate that the bouquet is maintained throughout meiotic prophase and promotes timely prophase exit in fission yeast. Persistent DNA damages, induced during meiotic recombination, activate the Rad3 and Chk1 DNA damage checkpoint kinases and extend the bouquet stage beyond the chromosome oscillation period. The auxin-inducible degron system demonstrated that premature termination of the bouquet stage leads to severe extension of prophase and consequently spindle formation defects. However, this delayed exit from meiotic prophase was not caused by residual DNA damage. Rather, loss of chromosome contact with the SPB caused delayed accumulation of CDK1-cyclin B at the SPB, which correlated with impaired SPB separation. In the absence of the bouquet, CDK1-cyclin B localised near the telomeres but not at the SPB at the later stage of meiotic prophase. Thus, bouquet configuration is maintained throughout meiotic prophase, by which this spatial organisation may facilitate local and timely activation of CDK1 near the SPB. Our findings illustrate that chromosome contact with the nuclear membrane synchronises meiotic progression of the nucleoplasmic chromosomes with that of the cytoplasmic SPB.

Keywords: Cdc2-Cdc13; Rad3–Chk1; S. pombe; bouquet; chromosome; meiosis; telomeres; the LINC complex.