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Exp Cell Res. 1992 Feb;198(2):291-7.

Identification of a structural protein component of rat synaptonemal complexes.

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Institute of Zoology I, University of W├╝rzburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Synaptonemal complexes (SCs) are evolutionarily conserved nuclear structures of meiotic cells which form during the zygotene stage of the first meiotic prophase and are responsible for the pairing of homologous chromosomes. Their formation appears to be a prerequisite for crossing-over events and proper chromosome segregation during the first meiotic division. Despite knowledge of their central role in genetic recombination processes very little is known about the molecular composition and the mechanisms governing the assembly of the SCs. In the present study we report on the characterization of a monoclonal antibody (SC14f10) which enabled us to identify a novel SC protein termed SC48. Protein SC48 has a Mr of 48,000 and migrates in two-dimensional gels with a pH value of 6.9. By means of immunogold EM we localized this protein to the central region of the SC. In cell fractionation experiments we recovered protein SC48 together with SC-residual structures in a karyoskeletal fraction of pachytene spermatocytes. Our results indicate that SC48 is a meiosis-specific structural protein component of the SC probably involved in the pairing of homologous chromosomes.

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