Chromosome pairing and synapsis during meiotic prophase requires the formation and repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by the topoisomerase-like enzyme SPO11. Chromosomes, or chromosomal regions, that lack a pairing partner, such as the largely heterologous X and Y chromosomes, show delayed meiotic DSB repair and are transcriptionally silenced. Herein, we review meiosis-specific aspects of DSB repair in relation to homology recognition and meiotic silencing of heterologous regions. We propose a dynamic interplay between progression of synapsis and persistent meiotic DSBs. Signaling from these persistent breaks could inhibit heterologous synapsis and stimulate meiotic silencing of the X and Y chromosomes.

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Keywords Chromosome pairing, DNA, DNA double-strand break repair, DNA repair, Histone modification, MSCI, MSUC, Meiosis, Rad51 protein, Rad54 protein, Sex chromosomes, X chromosome, Y chromosome, article, bird, cell cycle progression, chromatin, chromosome inactivation, chromosome pairing, double stranded DNA, double stranded DNA break, gene mutation, gene silencing, heterologous expression, human, karyotype 46,XY, meiosis, molecular dynamics, nonhuman, nucleic acid binding protein, pattern recognition, protein DMC1, protein phosphorylation, protein protein interaction, sequence homology, sex chromosome, sex difference, signal transduction, synaptonemal complex, unclassified drug, yeast, γH2AX
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Inagaki, A., Schoenmakers, S., & Baarends, W.M.. (2010). DNA double strand break repair, chromosome synapsis and transcriptional silencing in meiosis. Epigenetics, 5(4), 255–266. doi:10.4161/epi.5.4.11518