Issue Date: August 7, 2017
Revealing 3-D organization of meiosis complex
A multiprotein structure called the synaptonemal complex helps chromosomes segregate properly during the cell division process known as meiosis. Although much is already known about the proteins in the complex and their two-dimensional arrangement, the 3-D organization of the complex is less well understood. Now, a team led by R. Scott Hawley, Brian D. Slaughter, and Jay R. Unruh of Stowers Institute for Medical Research has combined two microscopy techniques to get a better 3-D picture of the fruit fly version of the complex (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2017, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705623114). The researchers modified a technique called expansion microscopy to make it compatible with superresolution microscopy. In expansion microscopy, a gel matrix with an embedded sample is uniformly inflated, which separates the components in the sample while keeping them correctly oriented relative to one another. To use the method with superresolution microscopy, the researchers modified the method so they could thinly slice the samples after embedding them in the matrix but before expanding the matrix. They expanded the samples to about four times their normal size. Then they acquired images using a superresolution microscopy method called structured illumination microscopy. The images revealed that the complex has two layers that mirror each other. The researchers propose that the layers possibly connect a sister chromatid (one of two identical copies of a replicated chromosome) from one homologous chromosome to a sister chromatid of the other homolog.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
- Copyright © American Chemical Society