Defective meiosis in telomere-silencing mutants of Schizosaccharomyces pombe

Nature. 1998 Apr 23;392(6678):825-8. doi: 10.1038/33941.


During meiotic prophase, chromosomes frequently adopt a bouquet-like arrangement, with their telomeres clustered close to the nuclear periphery. A dramatic example of this occurs in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, where all telomeres aggregate adjacent to the spindle pole body (SPB). Nuclei then undergo rapid traverses of the cell, known as 'horsetail' movement, which is led by the SPB dragging telomeres and chromosomes behind. This process may initiate or facilitate chromosome pairing before recombination and meiosis. With the aim of identifying components involved in telomere structure and function, we report here the isolation of S. pombe mutants defective in the ability to impose transcriptional silencing on genes placed near telomeres. Two of these mutants, lot2-s17 and lot3-uv3, also display a dramatic lengthening of telomeric repeats. lot3-uv3 carries a mutation in Taz1, a telomere-binding protein containing a Myb-like motif similar to two human telomere-binding proteins. Meiosis is aberrant in these mutant yeast strains, and our analysis demonstrates a decreased association of telomeres with the SPB in meiotic prophase. This results in defective 'horsetail' movement, a significant reduction in recombination, low spore viability and chromosome missegregation through meiosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Fungal / physiology
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • Prophase
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Schizosaccharomyces / cytology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology
  • Telomere*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Fungal Proteins