Asy2/Mer2: an evolutionarily conserved mediator of meiotic recombination, pairing, and global chromosome compaction

Citation:

Tessé S, Bourbon H-M, Debuchy R, Budin K, Dubois E, Liangran Z, Antoine R, Piolot T, Kleckner N, Zickler D, et al. Asy2/Mer2: an evolutionarily conserved mediator of meiotic recombination, pairing, and global chromosome compaction. Genes Dev. 2017;31 (18) :1880-1893.

Date Published:

2017 09 15

Abstract:

Meiosis is the cellular program by which a diploid cell gives rise to haploid gametes for sexual reproduction. Meiotic progression depends on tight physical and functional coupling of recombination steps at the DNA level with specific organizational features of meiotic-prophase chromosomes. The present study reveals that every step of this coupling is mediated by a single molecule: Asy2/Mer2. We show that Mer2, identified so far only in budding and fission yeasts, is in fact evolutionarily conserved from fungi (Mer2/Rec15/Asy2/Bad42) to plants (PRD3/PAIR1) and mammals (IHO1). In yeasts, Mer2 mediates assembly of recombination-initiation complexes and double-strand breaks (DSBs). This role is conserved in the fungus However, functional analysis of 13 mutants and successive localization of Mer2 to axis, synaptonemal complex (SC), and chromatin revealed, in addition, three further important functions. First, after DSB formation, Mer2 is required for pairing by mediating homolog spatial juxtaposition, with implications for crossover (CO) patterning/interference. Second, Mer2 participates in the transfer/maintenance and release of recombination complexes to/from the SC central region. Third, after completion of recombination, potentially dependent on SUMOylation, Mer2 mediates global chromosome compaction and post-recombination chiasma development. Thus, beyond its role as a recombinosome-axis/SC linker molecule, Mer2 has important functions in relation to basic chromosome structure.