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Dev Cell. 2007 Jun;12(6):863-72.

SUN1 is required for telomere attachment to nuclear envelope and gametogenesis in mice.

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Institute of Developmental Biology and Molecular Medicine and School of Life Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.


Prior to the pairing and recombination between homologous chromosomes during meiosis, telomeres attach to the nuclear envelope and form a transient cluster. However, the protein factors mediating meiotic telomere attachment to the nuclear envelope and the requirement of this attachment for homolog pairing and synapsis have not been determined in animals. Here we show that the inner nuclear membrane protein SUN1 specifically associates with telomeres between the leptotene and diplotene stages during meiotic prophase I. Disruption of Sun1 in mice prevents telomere attachment to the nuclear envelope, efficient homolog pairing, and synapsis formation in meiosis. Massive apoptotic events are induced in the mutant gonads, leading to the abolishment of both spermatogenesis and oogenesis. This study provides genetic evidence that SUN1-telomere interaction is essential for telomere dynamic movement and is required for efficient homologous chromosome pairing/synapsis during mammalian gametogenesis.

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