ZCWPW1 has co-evolved with PRDM9, in particular the PRDM9-SET domain, and although not involved in PRDM9's role in positioning recombination events, it is required for PRDM9's role in pairing chromosomes.
ZCWPW1 is a histone modification reader that localizes to DMC1-labelled double-strand break hotspots in a largely PRDM9-dependent manner, where it facilitates completion of synapsis by mediating DSB repair process.
A previously unrecognized transcriptional coactivator function of the dyskerin ribonucleoprotein complex and its associated small nucleolar RNA has been uncovered and mediates embryonic stem cell-specific transcription.
The meiotic recombination landscape in vertebrates was re-engineered via the co-evolution of a dual histone H3K4/H3K36 methylation 'writer' PRDM9 and its 'reader' ZCWPW1 that facilitates efficient double strand break repair.
The exogenous DNA DSBs improve meiotic chromosome pairing in mouse inter-subspecific hybrids, thus providing an evidence for a DSB-dependent mechanism of the PRDM9-controlled synapsis failure and infertility.