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Genes 2010, 1(3), 505-520; doi:10.3390/genes1030505

Synaptonemal Complex Length Variation in Wild-Type Male Mice

1 Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA 2 Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 October 2010 / Revised: 18 November 2010 / Accepted: 8 December 2010 / Published: 15 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Mammalian Meiosis)
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Meiosis yields haploid gametes following two successive divisions of a germ cell in the absence of intervening DNA replication. Balanced segregation of homologous chromosomes in Meiosis I is aided by a proteinaceous structure, the synaptonemal complex (SC). The objective of this study was to determine total average autosomal SC lengths in spermatocytes in three commonly used mouse strains (129S4/SvJae, C57BL/6J, and BALB/c). Our experiments revealed that the total autosomal SC length in BALB/c spermatocytes is 9% shorter than in the two other strains. Shorter SCs are also observed in spermatocytes of (BALB/c × 129S4/SvJae) and (C57BL/6J × BALB/c) F1 hybrids suggesting a genetic basis of SC length regulation. Along these lines, we studied expression of a selected group of genes implicated in meiotic chromosome architecture. We found that BALB/c testes express up to 6-fold less of Rec8 mRNA and 4-fold less of REC8 protein. These results suggest that the mechanism that defines the SC length operates via a REC8‑dependent process. Finally, our results demonstrate that genetic background can have an effect on meiotic studies in mice.
Keywords: synaptonemal complex; meiosis; mouse; genetic background; synapsis; REC8 synaptonemal complex; meiosis; mouse; genetic background; synapsis; REC8
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Vranis, N.M.; Van der Heijden, G.W.; Malki, S.; Bortvin, A. Synaptonemal Complex Length Variation in Wild-Type Male Mice. Genes 2010, 1, 505-520.

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