Chromosome congression and segregation in C. elegans oocytes depend on a complex of conserved proteins that forms a ring around the center of each bivalent during prometaphase; these complexes are then removed from chromosomes at anaphase onset and disassemble as anaphase proceeds. Here, we uncover mechanisms underlying the dynamic regulation of these ring complexes (RCs), revealing a strategy by which protein complexes can be progressively remodeled during cellular processes. We find that the assembly, maintenance, and stability of RCs is regulated by a balance between SUMO conjugating and deconjugating activity. During prometaphase, the SUMO protease ULP-1 is targeted to the RCs but is counteracted by SUMO E2/E3 enzymes; then in early anaphase the E2/E3 enzymes are removed, enabling ULP-1 to trigger RC disassembly and completion of the meiotic divisions. Moreover, we found that SUMO regulation is essential to properly connect the RCs to the chromosomes and then also to fully release them in anaphase. Altogether, our work demonstrates that dynamic remodeling of SUMO modifications facilitates key meiotic events and highlights how competition between conjugation and deconjugation activity can modulate SUMO homeostasis, protein complex stability, and ultimately, progressive processes such as cell division.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research