Zipping and Unzipping: Protein Modifications Regulating Synaptonemal Complex Dynamics

Trends Genet. 2018 Mar;34(3):232-245. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2017.12.001. Epub 2017 Dec 28.


The proteinaceous zipper-like structure known as the synaptonemal complex (SC), which forms between pairs of homologous chromosomes during meiosis from yeast to humans, plays important roles in promoting interhomolog crossover formation, regulating cessation of DNA double-strand break (DSB) formation following crossover designation, and ensuring accurate meiotic chromosome segregation. Recent studies are starting to reveal critical roles for different protein modifications in regulating SC dynamics. Protein SUMOylation, N-terminal acetylation, and phosphorylation have been shown to be essential for the regulated assembly and disassembly of the SC. Moreover, phosphorylation of specific SC components has been found to link changes in SC dynamics with meiotic recombination. This review highlights the latest findings on how protein modifications regulate SC dynamics and functions.

Keywords: N-terminal acetylation; SUMOylation; meiosis; meiotic recombination; phosphorylation; synaptonemal complex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Segregation / genetics*
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / genetics*
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Synaptonemal Complex / genetics*
  • Synaptonemal Complex / metabolism