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Nat Rev Genet. 2009 Mar;10(3):207-16. doi: 10.1038/nrg2505.

The consequences of asynapsis for mammalian meiosis.

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Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics, Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA.


During mammalian meiosis, synapsis of paternal and maternal chromosomes and the generation of DNA breaks are needed to allow reshuffling of parental genes. In mammals errors in synapsis are associated with a male-biased meiotic impairment, which has been attributed to a response to persisting DNA double-stranded breaks in the asynapsed chromosome segments. Recently it was discovered that the chromatin of asynapsed chromosome segments is transcriptionally silenced, providing new insights into the connection between asynapsis and meiotic impairment.

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