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ISRN Cell Biology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 890475, 9 pages
Review Article

Meiotic Chromosome Interactions: Nonhomologous Centromere (Un)Coupling and Homologous Synapsis

Crooked Lane, Chinsurah 712101, India

Received 20 September 2011; Accepted 30 October 2011

Academic Editors: P. Lavia and I. Sanchez-Perez

Copyright © 2012 Amit Bardhan. 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 fundamental function of meiosis, segregation of the maternal and paternal chromosomes, is facilitated by reciprocal recombination and intimate juxtaposition (synapsis) between the homologous chromosomes in meiotic prophase. Homolog synapsis, mediated by the synaptonemal complex (SC), is preceded by a stage of pairing between the centromeres of nonhomologous chromosomes. This pairing, named nonhomologous centromere coupling (NCC), depends upon the meiotic cohesin Rec8 and the SC protein Zip1. Nonhomologously coupled centromeres (NCCs), if remain tethered, must interfere with complete homolog synapsis (SC formation). Recent experiments demonstrate the existence of a mechanism that regulates NCC. Importantly, this is part of a regulatory network which couples dissolution of the NCCs with SC formation between the homologous chromosomes, thereby ensuring appropriate meiotic chromosome interactions. This paper reviews this network and presents speculations relating to the initiation of SC formation at centromere.