Cohesins are vital for chromosome organisation during meiosis and mitosis. In addition to the important function in sister chromatid cohesion, these complexes play key roles in meiotic recombination, DSB repair, homologous chromosome pairing and segregation. Egg-laying mammals (monotremes) feature an unusually complex sex chromosome system, which raises fundamental questions about organisation and segregation during meiosis. We discovered a dynamic and differential accumulation of cohesins on sex chromosomes during platypus prophase I and specific reorganisation of the sex chromosome complex around a large nucleolar body. Detailed analysis revealed a differential loading of SMC3 on the chromatin and chromosomal axis of XY shared regions compared with the chromatin and chromosomal axes of asynapsed X and Y regions during prophase I. At late prophase I, SMC3 accumulation is lost from both the chromatin and chromosome axes of the asynaptic regions of the chain and resolves into subnuclear compartments. This is the first report detailing unpaired DNA specific SMC3 accumulation during meiosis in any species and allows speculation on roles for cohesin in monotreme sex chromosome organisation and segregation.
- Journal Article