Newfound features of meiotic chromosome organization that promote efficient congression and segregation in Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes

Hannah H. Horton, Nikita S. Divekar, Sarah M. Wignall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although end-on microtubule-kinetochore attachments typically drive chromosome alignment, Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes do not form these connections. Instead, microtubule bundles run laterally alongside chromosomes and a ring-shaped protein complex facilitates congression (the "ring complex", RC). Here, we report new aspects of RC and chromosome structure that are required for congression and segregation. First, we found that in addition to encircling the outside of each homologous chromosome pair (bivalent), the RC also forms internal subloops that wrap around the domains where cohesion is lost during the first meiotic division; cohesin removal could therefore disengage these subloops in anaphase, enabling RC removal from chromosomes. Additionally, we discovered new features of chromosome organization that facilitate congression. Analysis of a mutant that forms bivalents with a fragile, unresolved homolog interface revealed that these bivalents are usually able to biorient on the spindle, with lateral microtubule bundles running alongside them and constraining the chromosome arms so that the two homologs are pointed to opposite spindle poles. This biorientation facilitates congression, as monooriented bivalents exhibited reduced polar ejection forces that resulted in congression defects. Thus, despite not forming end-on attachments, chromosome biorientation promotes congression in C. elegans oocytes. Our work therefore reveals novel features of chromosome organization in oocytes and highlights the importance of proper chromosome structure for faithful segregation during meiotic divisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)br25
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Volume33
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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