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Science. 2005 May 6;308(5723):870-3.

A synaptonemal complex protein promotes homology-independent centromere coupling.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


We describe a process in meiotic cells of budding yeast in which chromosomes become joined together in pairs at their centromeres independent of chromosomal homology. These centromeric interactions depend on the synaptonemal complex component Zip1. During meiosis in wild-type diploids, centromere couples are initially nonhomologous and then undergo switching until all couples involve homologs. This transition to homologous coupling depends on Spo11, a protein required for the initiation of meiotic recombination. Regions of synaptonemal complex assembled early in meiosis are often centromere-associated. We propose that centromere coupling facilitates homolog pairing and promotes synapsis initiation.

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