Asymmetric disassembly of the synaptonemal complex (SC) is crucial for proper meiotic chromosome segregation. However, the signaling mechanisms that directly regulate this process are poorly understood. Here we show that the mammalian Rho GEF homolog, ECT-2, functions through the conserved RAS/ERK MAP kinase signaling pathway in the C. elegans germline to regulate the disassembly of SC proteins. We find that SYP-2, a SC central region component, is a potential target for MPK-1-mediated phosphorylation and that constitutively phosphorylated SYP-2 impairs the disassembly of SC proteins from chromosomal domains referred to as the long arms of the bivalents. Inactivation of MAP kinase at late pachytene is critical for timely disassembly of the SC proteins from the long arms, and is dependent on the crossover (CO) promoting factors ZHP-3/RNF212/Zip3 and COSA-1/CNTD1. We propose that the conserved MAP kinase pathway coordinates CO designation with the disassembly of SC proteins to ensure accurate chromosome segregation.
- Bernard de Massy, Institute of Human Genetics, CNRS UPR 1142, France
© 2016, Nadarajan et al.
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Meiotic chromosome segregation relies on synapsis and crossover recombination between homologous chromosomes. These processes require multiple steps that are coordinated by the meiotic cell cycle and monitored by surveillance mechanisms. In diverse species, failures in chromosome synapsis can trigger a cell cycle delay and/or lead to apoptosis. How this key step in 'homolog engagement' is sensed and transduced by meiotic cells is unknown. Here we report that in C. elegans, recruitment of the Polo-like kinase PLK-2 to the synaptonemal complex triggers phosphorylation and inactivation of CHK-2, an early meiotic kinase required for pairing, synapsis, and double-strand break induction. Inactivation of CHK-2 terminates double-strand break formation and enables crossover designation and cell cycle progression. These findings illuminate how meiotic cells ensure crossover formation and accurate chromosome segregation.
Motile cilia are hair-like cell extensions that beat periodically to generate fluid flow along various epithelial tissues within the body. In dense multiciliated carpets, cilia were shown to exhibit a remarkable coordination of their beat in the form of traveling metachronal waves, a phenomenon which supposedly enhances fluid transport. Yet, how cilia coordinate their regular beat in multiciliated epithelia to move fluids remains insufficiently understood, particularly due to lack of rigorous quantification. We combine experiments, novel analysis tools, and theory to address this knowledge gap. To investigate collective dynamics of cilia, we studied zebrafish multiciliated epithelia in the nose and the brain. We focused mainly on the zebrafish nose, due to its conserved properties with other ciliated tissues and its superior accessibility for non-invasive imaging. We revealed that cilia are synchronized only locally and that the size of local synchronization domains increases with the viscosity of the surrounding medium. Even though synchronization is local only, we observed global patterns of traveling metachronal waves across the zebrafish multiciliated epithelium. Intriguingly, these global wave direction patterns are conserved across individual fish, but different for left and right nose, unveiling a chiral asymmetry of metachronal coordination. To understand the implications of synchronization for fluid pumping, we used a computational model of a regular array of cilia. We found that local metachronal synchronization prevents steric collisions, cilia colliding with each other, and improves fluid pumping in dense cilia carpets, but hardly affects the direction of fluid flow. In conclusion, we show that local synchronization together with tissue-scale cilia alignment coincide and generate metachronal wave patterns in multiciliated epithelia, which enhance their physiological function of fluid pumping.