Mouse CCDC79 (TERB1) is a meiosis-specific telomere associated protein.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Telomeres have crucial meiosis-specific roles in the orderly reduction of chromosome numbers and in ensuring the integrity of the genome during meiosis. One such role is the attachment of telomeres to trans-nuclear envelope protein complexes that connect telomeres to motor proteins in the cytoplasm. These trans-nuclear envelope connections between telomeres and cytoplasmic motor proteins permit the active movement of telomeres and chromosomes during the first meiotic prophase. Movements of chromosomes/telomeres facilitate the meiotic recombination process, and allow high fidelity pairing of homologous chromosomes. Pairing of homologous chromosomes is a prerequisite for their correct segregation during the first meiotic division. Although inner-nuclear envelope proteins, such as SUN1 and potentially SUN2, are known to bind and recruit meiotic telomeres, these proteins are not meiosis-specific, therefore cannot solely account for telomere-nuclear envelope attachment and/or for other meiosis-specific characteristics of telomeres in mammals. RESULTS: We identify CCDC79, alternatively named TERB1, as a meiosis-specific protein that localizes to telomeres from leptotene to diplotene stages of the first meiotic prophase. CCDC79 and SUN1 associate with telomeres almost concurrently at the onset of prophase, indicating a possible role for CCDC79 in telomere-nuclear envelope interactions and/or telomere movements. Consistent with this scenario, CCDC79 is missing from most telomeres that fail to connect to SUN1 protein in spermatocytes lacking the meiosis-specific cohesin SMC1B. SMC1B-deficient spermatocytes display both reduced efficiency in telomere-nuclear envelope attachment and reduced stability of telomeres specifically during meiotic prophase. Importantly, CCDC79 associates with telomeres in SUN1-deficient spermatocytes, which strongly indicates that localization of CCDC79 to telomeres does not require telomere-nuclear envelope attachment. CONCLUSION: CCDC79 is a meiosis-specific telomere associated protein. Based on our findings we propose that CCDC79 plays a role in meiosis-specific telomere functions. In particular, we favour the possibility that CCDC79 is involved in telomere-nuclear envelope attachment and/or the stabilization of meiotic telomeres. These conclusions are consistent with the findings of an independently initiated study that analysed CCDC79/TERB1 functions.
Project description:During meiotic prophase I, telomeres attach to and move on the nuclear envelope (NE), regulating chromosome movement to promote homologous pairing. Meiosis-specific proteins TERB1, TERB2 and MAJIN play a key role in this process. Here, we report the crystal structures of human TERB1-TERB2 and TERB2-MAJIN subcomplexes. Specific disruption of the TERB1-TERB2 or the TERB2-MAJIN interaction in the mouse Terb2 gene abolishes the telomere attachment to the NE and causes aberrant homologous pairing and disordered synapsis. In addition, depletion of SUN1 also partially disrupts the telomere-NE connection. We propose that the telomere-TRF1-TERB1-TERB2-MAJIN-NE interaction network and the telomere-LINC complex connection are likely two separate but cooperative pathways to stably recruit telomeres to the NE in meiosis prophase I. Our work provides a molecular model of the connection between telomeres and the NE and reveals the correlation between aberrant synapsis and the defective telomere attachment to the NE.
Project description:LINC complexes are evolutionarily conserved nuclear envelope bridges, composed of SUN (Sad-1/UNC-84) and KASH (Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne/homology) domain proteins. They are crucial for nuclear positioning and nuclear shape determination, and also mediate nuclear envelope (NE) attachment of meiotic telomeres, essential for driving homolog synapsis and recombination. In mice, SUN1 and SUN2 are the only SUN domain proteins expressed during meiosis, sharing their localization with meiosis-specific KASH5. Recent studies have shown that loss of SUN1 severely interferes with meiotic processes. Absence of SUN1 provokes defective telomere attachment and causes infertility. Here, we report that meiotic telomere attachment is not entirely lost in mice deficient for SUN1, but numerous telomeres are still attached to the NE through SUN2/KASH5-LINC complexes. In Sun1(-/-) meiocytes attached telomeres retained the capacity to form bouquet-like clusters. Furthermore, we could detect significant numbers of late meiotic recombination events in Sun1(-/-) mice. Together, this indicates that even in the absence of SUN1 telomere attachment and their movement within the nuclear envelope per se can be functional.
Project description:During meiosis, telomeres attach to the nuclear envelope (NE) to promote homologous chromosome moving, pairing, synapsis, and recombination. The telomere-NE attachment is mediated by SUN1, TERB1-TERB2-MAJIN (TTM complex), and TRF1. The interaction of the TTM complex with shelterin is mediated by TERB1 and TRF1, but how SUN1 interacts with the TTM complex is not yet fully understood. In this study, we found that SUN1 not only interacted with TERB1 but also interacted with MAJIN, and the interaction of SUN1 with MAJIN is stronger than TERB1. We also found that SUN1 interacted with SPDYA, an activator of CDK2. The binding sites of MAJIN and SPDYA at SUN1 were mapped, and both MAJIN and SPDYA bound to the N-terminal domain of SUN1 and the two binding sites were close to each other. Furthermore, SPDYA bound to SUN1 via the Ringo domain and recruited CDK2 to SUN1. Then, we found that the interaction of SUN1 with MAJIN was decreased by the CDK2 inhibitors. Taken together, our results provide the possible mechanism of SUN1, MAJIN, and SPDYA-CDK2 in promoting the telomere-NE attachment during meiosis.
Project description:A hallmark of meiosis is the precise pairing and the stable physical connection (synapsis) of the homologous chromosomes. These processes are essential prerequisite for their proper segregation. Pairing of the homologs during meiotic prophase I critically depends on characteristic movements of chromosomes. These movements, in turn, require attachment of meiotic telomeres to the nuclear envelope and their subsequent dynamic repositioning. Dynamic repositioning of meiotic telomeres goes along with profound structural reorganization of the nuclear envelope. The short A-type lamin C2 is thought to play a critical role in this process due to its specific expression during meiotic prophase I and the unique localization surrounding telomere attachments. Consistent with this notion, here we provide compelling evidence that meiosis-specific lamin C2 features a significantly increased mobility compared to somatic lamins as revealed by photobleaching techniques. We show that this property can be clearly ascribed to the lack of the N-terminal head and the significantly shorter ?-helical coil domain. Moreover, expression of lamin C2 in somatic cells induces nuclear deformations and alters the distribution of the endogenous nuclear envelope proteins lamin B1, LAP2, SUN1 and SUN2. Together, our data define lamin C2 as a "natural lamin deletion mutant" that confers unique properties to the nuclear envelope which would be essential for dynamic telomere repositioning during meiotic prophase I.
Project description:Telomere movements during meiotic prophase I facilitate synapsis and recombination of homologous chromosomes. Hereby, chromosome movements depend on the dynamic attachment of meiotic telomeres to the nuclear envelope and generation of forces that actively move the telomeres. In most eukaryotes, forces that move telomeres are generated in the cytoplasm by microtubule-associated motor proteins and transduced into the nucleus through the LINC complexes of the nuclear envelope. Meiotic LINC complexes, in mouse comprised of SUN1/2 and KASH5, selectively localize to the attachment sites of meiotic telomeres. For a better understanding of meiotic telomere dynamics, here we provide quantitative information of telomere attachment sites that we have generated with the aid of electron microscope tomography (EM tomography). Our data on the number, length, width, distribution and relation with microtubules of the reconstructed structures indicate that an average number of 76 LINC complexes would be required to move a telomere attachment site.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Meiosis is essential for sexual reproduction and generates genetically diverse haploid gametes from a diploid germ cell. Reduction of ploidy depends on active chromosome movements during early meiotic prophase I. Chromosome movements require telomere attachment to the nuclear envelope. This attachment is mediated by telomere adaptor proteins. Telomere adaptor proteins have to date been identified in fission yeast and mice. In the mouse, they form a complex composed of the meiotic proteins TERB1, TERB2, and MAJIN. No sequence similarity was observed between these three mouse proteins and the adaptor proteins of fission yeast, raising the question of the evolutionary history and significance of this specific protein complex. RESULT:Here, we show the TERB1, TERB2, and MAJIN proteins are found throughout the Metazoa and even in early-branching non-bilateral phyla such as Cnidaria, Placozoa and Porifera. Metazoan TERB1, TERB2, and MAJIN showed comparable domain architecture across all clades. Furthermore, the protein domains involved in the formation of the complex as well as those involved for the interaction with the telomere shelterin protein and the LINC complexes revealed high sequence similarity. Finally, gene expression in the cnidarian Hydra vulgaris provided evidence that the TERB1-TERB2-MAJIN complex is selectively expressed in the germ line. CONCLUSION:Our results indicate that the TERB1-TERB2-MAJIN complex has an ancient origin in metazoans, suggesting conservation of meiotic functions.
Project description:Meiotic chromosomes undergo rapid prophase movements, which are thought to facilitate the formation of inter-homologue recombination intermediates that underlie synapsis, crossing over and segregation. The meiotic telomere complex (MAJIN, TERB1, TERB2) tethers telomere ends to the nuclear envelope and transmits cytoskeletal forces via the LINC complex to drive these rapid movements. Here, we report the molecular architecture of the meiotic telomere complex through the crystal structure of MAJIN-TERB2, together with light and X-ray scattering studies of wider complexes. The MAJIN-TERB2 2:2 hetero-tetramer binds strongly to DNA and is tethered through long flexible linkers to the inner nuclear membrane and two TRF1-binding 1:1 TERB2-TERB1 complexes. Our complementary structured illumination microscopy studies and biochemical findings reveal a telomere attachment mechanism in which MAJIN-TERB2-TERB1 recruits telomere-bound TRF1, which is then displaced during pachytene, allowing MAJIN-TERB2-TERB1 to bind telomeric DNA and form a mature attachment plate.
Project description:Telomere-led rapid prophase movements (RPMs) in meiotic prophase have been observed in diverse eukaryote species. A shared feature of RPMs is that the force that drives the chromosomal movements is transmitted from the cytoskeleton, through the nuclear envelope, to the telomeres. Studies in mice suggested that dynein movement along microtubules is transmitted to telomeres through SUN1/KASH5 nuclear envelope bridges to generate RPMs. We monitored RPMs in mouse seminiferous tubules using 4D fluorescence imaging and quantitative motion analysis to characterize patterns of movement in the RPM process. We find that RPMs reflect a combination of nuclear rotation and individual chromosome movements. The telomeres move along microtubule tracks that are apparently continuous with the cytoskeletal network and exhibit characteristic arrangements at different stages of prophase. Quantitative measurements confirmed that SUN1/KASH5, microtubules, and dynein, but not actin, were necessary for RPMs and that defects in meiotic recombination and synapsis resulted in altered RPMs.
Project description:During meiosis, the rapid movement of telomeres along the nuclear envelope (NE) facilitates pairing/synapsis of homologous chromosomes. In mammals, the mechanical properties of chromosome movement and the cytoskeletal structures responsible for it remain poorly understood. Here, applying an in vivo electroporation (EP) technique in live mouse testis, we achieved the quick visualization of telomere, chromosome axis and microtubule organizing center (MTOC) movements. For the first time, we defined prophase sub-stages of live spermatocytes morphologically according to GFP-TRF1 and GFP-SCP3 signals. We show that rapid telomere movement and subsequent nuclear rotation persist from leptotene/zygotene to pachytene, and then decline in diplotene stage concomitant with the liberation of SUN1 from telomeres. Further, during bouquet stage, telomeres are constrained near the MTOC, resulting in the transient suppression of telomere mobility and nuclear rotation. MTs are responsible for these movements by forming cable-like structures on the NE, and, probably, by facilitating the rail-tacking movements of telomeres on the MT cables. In contrast, actin regulates the oscillatory changes in nuclear shape. Our data provide the mechanical scheme for meiotic chromosome movement throughout prophase I in mammals.
Project description:During meiotic prophase, the meiosis-specific telomere-binding protein TERB1 regulates chromosome movement required for homologous pairing and recombination by interacting with the telomeric shelterin subunit TRF1. Here, we report the crystal structure of the TRF1-binding motif of human TERB1 in complex with the TRFH domain of TRF1. Notably, specific disruption of the TERB1-TRF1 interaction by a point mutation in the mouse Terb1 gene results in infertility only in males. We find that this mutation causes an arrest in the zygotene-early pachytene stage and mild telomere abnormalities of autosomes but unpaired X and Y chromosomes in pachytene, leading to massive spermatocyte apoptosis. We propose that the loss of telomere structure mediated by the TERB1-TRF1 interaction significantly affects homologous pairing of the telomere-adjacent pseudoautosomal region (PAR) of the X and Y chromosomes in mouse spermatocytes. Our findings uncover a specific mechanism of telomeres that surmounts the unique challenges of mammalian X-Y pairing in meiosis.