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Dev Cell. 2007 Jun;12(6):873-85.

The nuclear envelope protein Matefin/SUN-1 is required for homologous pairing in C. elegans meiosis.

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Department of Chromosome Biology, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.


We identify a highly specific mutation (jf18) in the Caenorhabditis elegans nuclear envelope protein matefin MTF-1/SUN-1 that provides direct evidence for active involvement of the nuclear envelope in homologous chromosome pairing in C. elegans meiosis. The reorganization of chromatin in early meiosis is disrupted in mtf-1/sun-1(jf18) gonads, concomitant with the absence of presynaptic homolog alignment. Synapsis is established precociously and nonhomologously. Wild-type leptotene/zygotene nuclei show patch-like aggregations of the ZYG-12 protein, which fail to develop in mtf-1/sun-1(jf18) mutants. These patches remarkably colocalize with a component of the cis-acting chromosomal pairing center (HIM-8) rather than the centrosome. Our data on this mtf-1/sun-1 allele challenge the previously postulated role of the centrosome/spindle organizing center in chromosome pairing, and clearly support a role for MTF-1/SUN-1 in meiotic chromosome reorganization and in homolog recognition, possibly by mediating local aggregation of the ZYG-12 protein in meiotic nuclei.

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