Meiotic prophase arrest with failure of chromosome synapsis in mice deficient for Dmc1, a germline-specific RecA homolog

Mol Cell. 1998 Apr;1(5):697-705. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)80069-6.


DMC1 is a meiosis-specific gene first discovered in yeast that encodes a protein with homology to RecA and may be component of recombination nodules. Yeast dmc1 mutants are defective in crossing over and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation, and arrest in late prophase of meiosis I. We have generated a null mutation in the Dmc1 gene in mice and show that homozygous mutant males and females are sterile with arrest of gametogenesis in the first meiotic prophase. Chromosomes in mutant spermatocytes fail to synapse, despite the formation of axial elements that are the precursor to the SC. The strong similarity of phenotypes in Dmc1-deficient mice and yeast suggests that meiotic mechanisms have been highly conserved through evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Chromosomes / physiology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Germ-Line Mutation / physiology
  • Infertility / genetics
  • Male
  • Meiosis / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oocytes / chemistry
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Phosphate-Binding Proteins
  • Prophase / physiology*
  • Rec A Recombinases / genetics*
  • Recombinant Proteins / analysis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / chemistry
  • Spermatozoa / physiology


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Dmc1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphate-Binding Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Rec A Recombinases
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases