Genetic analysis of chromosome pairing, recombination, and cell cycle control during first meiotic prophase in mammals

P. E. Cohen, Staci E. Pollack, J. W. Pollard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Meiosis is a double-division process that is preceded by only one DNA replication event to produce haploid gametes. The defining event in meiosis is prophase I, during which chromosome pairs locate each other, become physically connected, and exchange genetic information. Although many aspects of this process have been elucidated in lower organisms, there has been scant information available until now about the process in mammals. Recent advances in genetic analysis, especially in mice and humans, have revealed many genes that play essential roles in meiosis in mammals. These include cell cycle-regulatory proteins that couple the exit from the premeiotic DNA synthesis to the progression through prophase I, the chromosome structural proteins involved in synapsis, and the repair and recombination proteins that process the recombination events. Failure to adequately repair the DNA damage caused by recombination triggers meiotic checkpoints that result in ablation of the germ cells by apoptosis. These analyses have revealed surprising sexual dimorphism in the requirements of different gene products and a much less stringent checkpoint regulation in females. This may provide an explanation for the 10-fold increase in meiotic errors in females compared with males. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of the use of genetic manipulation, particularly in mice, but also of the analysis of mutations in humans, to elucidate the mechanisms that are required for traverse through prophase I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-426
Number of pages29
JournalEndocrine Reviews
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

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Meiotic Prophase I
Chromosome Pairing
Prophase
Meiosis
Cell Cycle Checkpoints
Genetic Recombination
Mammals
Germ Cells
Chromosomes
Recombinational DNA Repair
Cell Cycle Proteins
Haploidy
Essential Genes
DNA Replication
Sex Characteristics
DNA Damage
Proteins
Apoptosis
Mutation
DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Genetic analysis of chromosome pairing, recombination, and cell cycle control during first meiotic prophase in mammals. / Cohen, P. E.; Pollack, Staci E.; Pollard, J. W.

In: Endocrine Reviews, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2006, p. 398-426.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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