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Dev Cell. 2003 Sep;5(3):463-74.

Synaptonemal complex assembly in C. elegans is dispensable for loading strand-exchange proteins but critical for proper completion of recombination.

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Department of Developmental Biology, Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Here we probe the relationships between assembly of the synaptonemal complex (SC) and progression of recombination between homologous chromosomes during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis. We identify SYP-2 as a structural component of the SC central region and show that central region assembly depends on proper morphogenesis of chromosome axes. We find that the SC central region is dispensable for initiation of recombination and for loading of DNA strand-exchange protein RAD-51, despite the fact that extensive RAD-51 loading normally occurs in the context of assembled SC. Further, persistence of RAD-51 foci and absence of crossover products in meiotic mutants suggests that SC central region components and recombination proteins MSH-4 and MSH-5 are required to promote conversion of resected double-strand breaks into stable post-strand exchange intermediates. Our data also suggest that early prophase barriers to utilization of sister chromatids as repair templates do not depend on central region assembly.

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