Prospects & Overviews
SUMO meets meiosis: An encounter at the synaptonemal complex
SUMO chains and sumoylated proteins suggest that heterogeneous and complex interactions lie at the centre of the synaptonemal complex
Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2011
Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 33, Issue 7, pages 529–537, July 2011
How to Cite
Watts, F. Z. and Hoffmann, E. (2011), SUMO meets meiosis: An encounter at the synaptonemal complex. Bioessays, 33: 529–537. doi: 10.1002/bies.201100002
- Issue online: 16 JUN 2011
- Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2011
- chromosome morphology;
- synaptonemal complex
Recent discoveries have identified the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) as the potential ‘missing link’ that could explain how the synaptonemal complex (SC) is formed during meiosis. The SC is important for a variety of chromosome interactions during meiosis and appears ladder-like. It is formed when ‘axes’ of the two homologous chromosomes become connected by the deposition of transverse filaments, forming the steps of the ladder. Although several components of axial and transverse elements have been identified, how the two are connected to form the SC has remained an enigma. Recent discoveries suggest that SUMO modification underlies protein-protein interactions within the SC of budding yeast. The versatility of SUMO in regulating protein-protein interactions adds an exciting new dimension to our understanding of the SC and suggests that SCs are not homogenous structures throughout the nucleus. We propose that this heterogeneity may allow differential regulation of chromosome structure and function.