During mammalian meiotic prophase, homologous chromosomes connect through the formation of the synaptonemal complex (SC). SYCP3 is a component of the lateral elements of the SC. We have generated transgenic mice expressing N- or C-terminal fluorescent-tagged SYCP3 (mCherry-SYCP3 (CSYCP) and SYCP3-mCherry (SYCPC)) to study SC dynamics and chromosome movements in vivo. Neither transgene rescued meiotic aberrations in Sycp3 knockouts, but CSYCP could form short axial element-like structures in the absence of endogenous SYCP3. On the wild-type background, both fusion proteins localized to the axes of the SC together with endogenous SYCP3, albeit with delayed initiation (from pachytene) in spermatocytes. Around 40% of CSYCP and SYCPC that accumulated on the SC was rapidly exchanging with other tagged proteins, as analyzed by fluorescent recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assay. We used the CSYCP transgenic mice for further live cell analyses and observed synchronized bouquet configurations in living cysts of two or three zygotene oocyte nuclei expressing CSYCP, which presented cycles of telomere clustering and dissolution. Rapid chromosome movements were observed in both zygotene oocytes and pachytene spermatocytes, but rotational movements of the nucleus were more clear in oocytes. In diplotene spermatocytes, desynapsis was found to proceed in a discontinuous manner, whereby even brief chromosome re-association events were observed. Thus, this live imaging approach can be used to follow changes in the dynamic behavior of the nucleus and chromatin, in normal mice and different infertile mouse models.

in vitro culture, Meiotic prophase, Oocyte, Spermatocyte, SYCP3, Synaptonemal complex
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00412-018-0668-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/105494
Chromosoma: biology of the nucleus
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/289880 - Reproductive Biology Early Research Training (REPRO-TRAIN)
Department of Developmental Biology

Enguita-Marruedo, A. (Andrea), van Cappellen, W.A, Hoogerbrugge, J.W, Carofiglio, F, Wassenaar, E, Slotman, J.A, … Baarends, W.M. (2018). Live cell analyses of synaptonemal complex dynamics and chromosome movements in cultured mouse testis tubules and embryonic ovaries. Chromosoma: biology of the nucleus, 1–19. doi:10.1007/s00412-018-0668-7