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PLoS Genet. 2011 Feb;7(2):e1002005. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002005. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

The Drosophila zinc finger protein trade embargo is required for double strand break formation in meiosis.

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Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America.


Homologous recombination in meiosis is initiated by the programmed induction of double strand breaks (DSBs). Although the Drosophila Spo11 ortholog Mei-W68 is required for the induction of DSBs during meiotic prophase, only one other protein (Mei-P22) has been shown to be required for Mei-W68 to exert this function. We show here that the chromatin-associated protein Trade Embargo (Trem), a C2H2 zinc finger protein, is required to localize Mei-P22 to discrete foci on meiotic chromosomes, and thus to promote the formation of DSBs, making Trem the earliest known function in the process of DSB formation in Drosophila oocytes. We speculate that Trem may act by either directing the binding of Mei-P22 to preferred sites of DSB formation or by altering chromatin structure in a manner that allows Mei-P22 to form foci.

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