DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2314335120 ISSN: 0027-8424

A suppressor screen in C. elegans identifies a multiprotein interaction that stabilizes the synaptonemal complex

Lisa E. Kursel, Jesus E. Aguayo Martinez, Ofer Rog
  • Multidisciplinary

Successful chromosome segregation into gametes depends on tightly regulated interactions between the parental chromosomes. During meiosis, chromosomes are aligned end-to-end by an interface called the synaptonemal complex, which also regulates exchanges between them. However, despite the functional and ultrastructural conservation of this essential interface, how protein–protein interactions within the synaptonemal complex regulate chromosomal interactions remains poorly understood. Here, we describe a genetic interaction in the C. elegans synaptonemal complex, comprised of short segments of three proteins, SYP-1, SYP-3, and SYP-4. We identified the interaction through a saturated suppressor screen of a mutant that destabilizes the synaptonemal complex. The specificity and tight distribution of suppressors suggest a charge-based interface that promotes interactions between synaptonemal complex subunits and, in turn, allows intimate interactions between chromosomes. Our work highlights the power of genetic studies to illuminate the mechanisms that underlie meiotic chromosome interactions.

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