Structural maturation of SYCP1-mediated meiotic chromosome synapsis by SYCE3

James Crichton, James M. Dunce, Orla M. Dunne, Lucy Salmon, Paul S Devenney, Jennifer Lawson, Ian R Adams*, Owen Davies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In meiosis, a supramolecular protein structure, the synaptonemal complex (SC), assembles between homologous chromosomes to facilitate their recombination. Mammalian SC formation is thought to involve hierarchical zipper-like assembly of an SYCP1 protein lattice that recruits stabilizing central element (CE) proteins as it extends. Here we combine biochemical approaches with separation-of-function mutagenesis in mice to show that, rather than stabilizing the SYCP1 lattice, the CE protein SYCE3 actively remodels this structure during synapsis. We find that SYCP1 tetramers undergo conformational change into 2:1 heterotrimers on SYCE3 binding, removing their assembly interfaces and disrupting the SYCP1 lattice. SYCE3 then establishes a new lattice by its self-assembly mimicking the role of the disrupted interface in tethering together SYCP1 dimers. SYCE3 also interacts with CE complexes SYCE1–SIX6OS1 and SYCE2–TEX12, providing a mechanism for their recruitment. Thus, SYCE3 remodels the SYCP1 lattice into a CE-binding integrated SYCP1–SYCE3 lattice to achieve long-range synapsis by a mature SC.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalNature Structural & Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • meiosis
  • recombination
  • synaptonemal complex
  • SYCP1
  • SYCE3
  • self-assembly
  • small-angle X-ray scattering
  • mouse
  • bioimage analysis


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