Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2014, Article ID 856230, 16 pages
Research Article

Conservation and Variability of Synaptonemal Complex Proteins in Phylogenesis of Eukaryotes

Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Gubkin Street 3, GSP-1 Russian Federation, Moscow 119991, Russia

Received 1 March 2014; Revised 2 June 2014; Accepted 24 June 2014; Published 23 July 2014

Academic Editor: Yoko Satta

Copyright © 2014 Tatiana M. Grishaeva and Yuri F. Bogdanov. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The problems of the origin and evolution of meiosis include the enigmatic variability of the synaptonemal complexes (SCs) which, being morphology similar, consist of different proteins in different eukaryotic phyla. Using bioinformatics methods, we monitored all available eukaryotic proteomes to find proteins similar to known SC proteins of model organisms. We found proteins similar to SC lateral element (LE) proteins and possessing the HORMA domain in the majority of the eukaryotic taxa and assume them the most ancient among all SC proteins. Vertebrate LE proteins SYCP2, SYCP3, and SC65 proved to have related proteins in many invertebrate taxa. Proteins of SC central space are most evolutionarily variable. It means that different protein-protein interactions can exist to connect LEs. Proteins similar to the known SC proteins were not found in Euglenophyta, Chrysophyta, Charophyta, Xanthophyta, Dinoflagellata, and primitive Coelomata. We conclude that different proteins whose common feature is the presence of domains with a certain conformation are involved in the formation of the SC in different eukaryotic phyla. This permits a targeted search for orthologs of the SC proteins using phylogenetic trees. Here we consider example of phylogenetic trees for protozoans, fungi, algae, mosses, and flowering plants.