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Chromosoma. 2011 Apr;120(2):151-7. doi: 10.1007/s00412-010-0295-4. Epub 2010 Oct 7.

Rap1-independent telomere attachment and bouquet formation in mammalian meiosis.

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Institut für Radiobiologie der Bundeswehr in Verbindung mit der Universität Ulm, Neuherbergstr. 11, 80937, Munich, Germany.


Attachment of telomeres to the nuclear envelope (NE) and their clustering in a chromosomal bouquet during meiotic prophase I is an evolutionary conserved event that promotes chromosome pairing and recombination. In fission yeast, bouquet formation fails when the telomeric protein Rap1 is absent or when the telomeric protein Taz1 fails to recruit Rap1 to telomeres. The mammalian Rap1 orthologue is a component of the shelterin complex and localises to telomeres through an interaction with a Taz1-like telomeric DNA binding factor, TRF2. Here, we investigated the role of mammalian Rap1 in meiotic telomere attachment and clustering by analysing spermatogenesis in Rap1-deficient mice. The results establish that the meiotic three-dimensional nuclear architecture and recombination are not affected by the absence of Rap1. Furthermore, Rap1-deficient meiotic telomeres assemble the SUN1 nuclear membrane protein, attach to the NE, and undergo bouquet formation indistinguishable from the wild-type setting. Thus, the role of Rap1 in meiosis is not conserved between fission yeast and mammals, suggesting that mammals have alternative modes for connecting telomeres to SUN proteins on the meiotic nuclear envelope.

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