Two levels of interference in mouse meiotic recombination

E. de Boer, P. Stam, A.J.J. Dietrich, A. Pastink, C. Heyting

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97 Citations (Scopus)


During meiosis, homologous chromosomes (homologs) undergo recombinational interactions, which can yield crossovers (COs) or noncrossovers. COs exhibit interference; they are more evenly spaced along the chromosomes than would be expected if they were placed randomly. The protein complexes involved in recombination can be visualized as immunofluorescent foci. We have analyzed the distribution of such foci along meiotic prophase chromosomes of the mouse to find out when interference is imposed and whether interference manifests itself at a constant level during meiosis. We observed strong interference among MLH1 foci, which mark CO positions in pachytene. Additionally, we detected substantial interference well before this point, in late zygotene, among MSH4 foci, and similarly, among replication protein A (RPA) foci. MSH4 foci and RPA foci both mark interhomolog recombinational interactions, most of which do not yield COs in the mouse. Furthermore, this zygotene interference did not depend on SYCP1, which is a transverse filament protein of mouse synaptonemal complexes. Interference is thus not specific to COs but may occur in other situations in which the spatial distribution of events has to be controlled. Differences between the distributions of MSH4/RPA foci and MLH1 foci along synaptonemal complexes might suggest that CO interference occurs in two successive
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9607-9612
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • double-strand breaks
  • crossover interference
  • synaptonemal complexes
  • mismatch repair
  • crossing-over
  • chiasma interference
  • budding yeast
  • meiosis
  • chromosomes
  • protein

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