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PLoS Genet. 2012 Jul;8(7):e1002809. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002809. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

The role of rice HEI10 in the formation of meiotic crossovers.

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State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


HEI10 was first described in human as a RING domain-containing protein that regulates cell cycle and cell invasion. Mice HEI10(mei4) mutant displays no obvious defect other than meiotic failure from an absence of chiasmata. In this study, we characterize rice HEI10 by map-based cloning and explore its function during meiotic recombination. In the rice hei10 mutant, chiasma frequency is markedly reduced, and those remaining chiasmata exhibit a random distribution among cells, suggesting possible involvement of HEI10 in the formation of interference-sensitive crossovers (COs). However, mutation of HEI10 does not affect early recombination events and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation. HEI10 protein displays a highly dynamic localization on the meiotic chromosomes. It initially appears as distinct foci and co-localizes with MER3. Thereafter, HEI10 signals elongate along the chromosomes and finally restrict to prominent foci that specially localize to chiasma sites. The linear HEI10 signals always localize on ZEP1 signals, indicating that HEI10 extends along the chromosome in the wake of synapsis. Together our results suggest that HEI10 is the homolog of budding yeast Zip3 and Caenorhabditis elegans ZHP-3, and may specifically promote class I CO formation through modification of various meiotic components.

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