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IGDB Scientists Uncover the New Member of Synaptonemal Complex during Rice Meiosis
The synaptonemal complex (SC), a meiosis-specific zipper-like tripartite structure, is constituted by the two parallel lateral elements (LEs) and the central elements (CEs). It is highly conserved among various eukaryotes. During meiotic prophase I, SC is considered as the structural framework in which homologous recombination occurs and genetic information rearrangement accomplishes. The identification of new SC components, companied with the precise understanding of SC would, therefore, be critically important for normal haploid gametes and accurate life cycle of sexual reproduction organisms.
A study team led by Prof. CHENG Zhukuan from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, found that P31comet is a new SC member in rice meiosis. P31comet was characterized to participate in metaphase/anaphase transition during mitosis. This work, for the first time, provides experimental evidence for P31comet function in meiosis.
In this study, P31comet colocalizes with ZEP1 (a transverse filament protein of rice SC) to the central region between two axial elements (AEs) in an interpedently pattern. Further, P31comet interacts with CENTRAL REGION COMPONENT 1 (CRC1, a SC component in rice) in yeast two-hybrid assays. Both suggest possible involvement of P31comet in SC installation through its cooperation with CRC1. In addition, further investigation revealed that P31comet is also essential for the programmed double-strand break initiation during rice meiosis. The abnormal chromosome fragmentation in Oscom1 and Osrad51c meiocytes was suppressed in both Oscom1 p31comet and Osrad51c p31comet, showing that P31comet is a prerequisite for the double-strand break (DSB) repair.
This work entitled “P31comet, a member of the synaptonemal complex, participates in meiotic DSB formation in rice” was online published in PNAS on September 6, 2016 (doi:10.1073/pnas.1607334113). It was supported by grants from the National Key Research and Development Program and National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Figure 1.  P31comet colocalizes with ZEP1 between two axial elements (A, B); P31 comet interacts with CRC1 in Y2H assay (C) (Image by CHENG Zhukuan)
Dr. CHENG Zhukuan