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

Synaptonemal Complex Length Variation in Wild-Type Male Mice

1,†
,
2,†
,
2
 and
2,*
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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Abstract

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 3.0).

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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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