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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Jun;13(6):3445-55.

Meiosis-specific arrest revealed in DNA topoisomerase II mutants.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


Although the processes of mitosis and meiosis are similar, there is evidence for fundamental regulatory differences between the two. To examine these differences, we have compared the meiotic phenotype of DNA topoisomerase II mutants with their previously described mitotic phenotype (C. Holm, T. Goto, J. Wang, and D. Botstein, Cell 41:553-563, 1985). top2 mutants in meiosis show no defects in the latest detectable stages of recombination, yet they arrest prior to spindle establishment at meiosis I. Fluorescence and electron microscopy reveal that top2 mutants exhibit wild-type levels of meiotic chromosome condensation and form morphologically normal synaptonemal complex but are delayed in the exit from pachytene. Arrested cells retain viability and form colonies if transferred to mitotic medium. Our results suggest that the top2 meiotic arrest is regulatory in nature. This arrest may have evolved to ensure the resolution of fortuitous tangles between nonhomologous chromosomes.

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