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EMBO J. 2001 Jul 16;20(14):3871-81.

A novel meiosis-specific protein of fission yeast, Meu13p, promotes homologous pairing independently of homologous recombination.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, 3-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Meiotic homologous pairing is crucial to proper homologous recombination, which secures subsequent reductional chromosome segregation. We have identified a novel meiosis-specific protein of fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Meu13p, to be a molecule that is required for proper homologous pairing and recombination. Rec12p (homologue of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Spo11p), which is essential for the initiation of meiotic recombination, is also shown for the first time to participate in the pairing process of S.pombe. Meu13p, however, contributes to pairing through a recombination-independent mechanism, as disruption of the meu13(+) gene reduces pairing whether the rec12(+) gene is deleted or not. We also demonstrate a dynamic nature of homologous pairing in living meiotic cells, which is markedly affected by meu13 deletion. Meu13p is not required for telomere clustering and the nuclear movement process, which are well known requirements for efficient pairing in S.pombe. Based on these results, together with the localization of Meu13p on meiotic chromatin, we propose that Meu13p directly promotes proper homologous pairing and recombination.

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