meiotic prophase i


Summary: The prophase of the first division of MEIOSIS (in which homologous CHROMOSOME SEGREGATION occurs). It is divided into five stages: leptonema, zygonema, PACHYNEMA, diplonema, and diakinesis.

Top Publications

  1. Obeso D, Dawson D. Temporal characterization of homology-independent centromere coupling in meiotic prophase. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e10336 pubmed publisher
    ..Based on our results we propose a role for centromere coupling in blocking interactions between homologous centromeres as recombination initiation is taking place. ..
  2. Clemons A, Brockway H, Yin Y, Kasinathan B, Butterfield Y, Jones S, et al. akirin is required for diakinesis bivalent structure and synaptonemal complex disassembly at meiotic prophase I. Mol Biol Cell. 2013;24:1053-67 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we identify akir-1 as a gene involved in key events of meiotic prophase I in Caenorhabditis elegans...
  3. Corredor E, Naranjo T. Effect of colchicine and telocentric chromosome conformation on centromere and telomere dynamics at meiotic prophase I in wheat-rye additions. Chromosome Res. 2007;15:231-45 pubmed
    ..However, telomere convergence is needed for bringing together the majority of homologous pairs that normally occupy separate territories in premeiotic nuclei. ..
  4. Lui D, Peoples Holst T, Mell J, Wu H, Dean E, Burgess S. Analysis of close stable homolog juxtaposition during meiosis in mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics. 2006;173:1207-22 pubmed
    ..The pairing of homologous chromosomes is a critical aspect of meiotic prophase I that aids proper disjunction at anaphase I...
  5. de Carvalho C, Zaaijer S, Smolikov S, Gu Y, Schumacher J, COLAIACOVO M. LAB-1 antagonizes the Aurora B kinase in C. elegans. Genes Dev. 2008;22:2869-85 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that, in C. elegans, a LAB-1-mediated mechanism evolved to offset the challenges of providing protection against separase activity throughout a larger chromosome area. ..
  6. Ronceret A, Pawlowski W. Chromosome dynamics in meiotic prophase I in plants. Cytogenet Genome Res. 2010;129:173-83 pubmed publisher
    ..While significant advances have been achieved in elucidating the patterns of chromosome behavior in meiotic prophase I, factors controlling chromosome dynamics are still largely unknown and require further studies.
  7. Che L, Tang D, Wang K, Wang M, Zhu K, Yu H, et al. OsAM1 is required for leptotene-zygotene transition in rice. Cell Res. 2011;21:654-65 pubmed publisher
    ..In contrast, in pair2, Osmer3 and zep1 mutants, OsAM1 could be loaded normally, suggesting that OsAM1 plays a fundamental role in building the proper chromosome structure at the beginning of meiosis. ..
  8. Mehrotra S, McKim K. Temporal analysis of meiotic DNA double-strand break formation and repair in Drosophila females. PLoS Genet. 2006;2:e200 pubmed
    ..From a comparison of the frequency of gamma-His2Av foci and crossovers, it appears that Drosophila females have only a weak mechanism to ensure a crossover in the presence of a low number of DSBs. ..
  9. Xu H, Beasley M, Warren W, van der Horst G, McKay M. Absence of mouse REC8 cohesin promotes synapsis of sister chromatids in meiosis. Dev Cell. 2005;8:949-61 pubmed
    ..Unexpectedly, Rec8 null mice are born in sub-Mendelian frequencies and fail to thrive. These findings illuminate hitherto unknown REC8 functions in chromosome dynamics during mammalian meiosis and possibly in somatic development. ..

More Information


  1. Cohen P, Pollack S, Pollard J. Genetic analysis of chromosome pairing, recombination, and cell cycle control during first meiotic prophase in mammals. Endocr Rev. 2006;27:398-426 pubmed
    ..This review provides a comprehensive analysis of the use of genetic manipulation, particularly in mice, but also of the analysis of mutations in humans, to elucidate the mechanisms that are required for traverse through prophase I. ..
  2. De Muyt A, Jessop L, Kolar E, Sourirajan A, Chen J, Dayani Y, et al. BLM helicase ortholog Sgs1 is a central regulator of meiotic recombination intermediate metabolism. Mol Cell. 2012;46:43-53 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that Sgs1 is a primary regulator of recombination pathway choice during meiosis and suggest a similar function in the mitotic cell cycle. ..
  3. Chicheportiche A, Bernardino Sgherri J, de Massy B, Dutrillaux B. Characterization of Spo11-dependent and independent phospho-H2AX foci during meiotic prophase I in the male mouse. J Cell Sci. 2007;120:1733-42 pubmed
    ..The presence of these L-foci in Spo11(-/-) spermatocytes raises the interesting possibility of yet uncharacterized alterations in DNA or chromosome structure in Spo11(-/-) cells. ..
  4. MacQueen A, Phillips C, Bhalla N, Weiser P, Villeneuve A, Dernburg A. Chromosome sites play dual roles to establish homologous synapsis during meiosis in C. elegans. Cell. 2005;123:1037-50 pubmed
    ..We speculate that concentration of these activities at one region per chromosome may have coevolved with the loss of a point centromere to safeguard karyotype stability. ..
  5. Kolas N, Svetlanov A, Lenzi M, Macaluso F, Lipkin S, Liskay R, et al. Localization of MMR proteins on meiotic chromosomes in mice indicates distinct functions during prophase I. J Cell Biol. 2005;171:447-58 pubmed
  6. Calvente A, Viera A, Page J, Parra M, Gómez R, Suja J, et al. DNA double-strand breaks and homology search: inferences from a species with incomplete pairing and synapsis. J Cell Sci. 2005;118:2957-63 pubmed
  7. Newhall K, Criniti A, Cheah C, Smith K, Kafer K, Burkart A, et al. Dynamic anchoring of PKA is essential during oocyte maturation. Curr Biol. 2006;16:321-7 pubmed
    ..However, during the early minutes of maturation, type II PKA moves from cytoplasmic sites to the mitochondria, where it associates with AKAP1, and this is shown to be essential for maturation to continue irreversibly. ..
  8. Adamo A, Montemauri P, Silva N, Ward J, Boulton S, La Volpe A. BRC-1 acts in the inter-sister pathway of meiotic double-strand break repair. EMBO Rep. 2008;9:287-92 pubmed publisher
  9. Holloway J, Morelli M, Borst P, Cohen P. Mammalian BLM helicase is critical for integrating multiple pathways of meiotic recombination. J Cell Biol. 2010;188:779-89 pubmed publisher
  10. Smoliński D, Niedojadło J, Noble A, Górska Brylass A. Additional nucleoli and NOR activity during meiotic prophase I in larch (Larix decidua Mill.). Protoplasma. 2007;232:109-20 pubmed
    ..The occurrence of newly formed RNA was also observed in these structures. This suggests that the observed perinucleolar structures correspond to the additional nucleoli known from animals...
  11. Homer H, Gui L, Carroll J. A spindle assembly checkpoint protein functions in prophase I arrest and prometaphase progression. Science. 2009;326:991-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Both meiotic defects in BubR1-depleted oocytes are due to reduced activity of the master regulator known as the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), brought about through diminished levels of the APC coactivator Cdh1. ..
  12. Wang Y, Yang M. The ARABIDOPSIS SKP1-LIKE1 (ASK1) protein acts predominately from leptotene to pachytene and represses homologous recombination in male meiosis. Planta. 2006;223:613-7 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that ASK1 normally plays a repressive role in male recombination in Arabidopsis. ..
  13. Sun F, Handel M. Regulation of the meiotic prophase I to metaphase I transition in mouse spermatocytes. Chromosoma. 2008;117:471-85 pubmed publisher
    The meiotic prophase I to metaphase I transition (G2/MI) involves disassembly of synaptonemal complex (SC), chromatin condensation, and final compaction of morphologically distinct MI bivalent chromosomes...
  14. Bannister L, Reinholdt L, Munroe R, Schimenti J. Positional cloning and characterization of mouse mei8, a disrupted allelle of the meiotic cohesin Rec8. Genesis. 2004;40:184-94 pubmed
    ..Affected males have small testes due to arrest of spermatogenesis during meiotic prophase I. Genetic mapping and positional cloning of mei8 led to the identification of a mutation in Rec8, a homolog ..
  15. Nonomura K, Morohoshi A, Nakano M, Eiguchi M, Miyao A, Hirochika H, et al. A germ cell specific gene of the ARGONAUTE family is essential for the progression of premeiotic mitosis and meiosis during sporogenesis in rice. Plant Cell. 2007;19:2583-94 pubmed
  16. Sato A, Isaac B, Phillips C, Rillo R, Carlton P, Wynne D, et al. Cytoskeletal forces span the nuclear envelope to coordinate meiotic chromosome pairing and synapsis. Cell. 2009;139:907-19 pubmed publisher
    ..For a video summary of this article, see the PaperFlick file with the Supplemental Data available online. ..
  17. Martinez Perez E, Schvarzstein M, Barroso C, Lightfoot J, Dernburg A, Villeneuve A. Crossovers trigger a remodeling of meiotic chromosome axis composition that is linked to two-step loss of sister chromatid cohesion. Genes Dev. 2008;22:2886-901 pubmed publisher
    ..Further, we discuss parallels between the pattern of HTP-1/2 removal in response to crossovers and the phenomenon of crossover interference. ..
  18. Morelli M, Werling U, Edelmann W, Roberson M, Cohen P. Analysis of meiotic prophase I in live mouse spermatocytes. Chromosome Res. 2008;16:743-60 pubmed publisher
    Events occurring during meiotic prophase I are critical for the successful production of haploid gametes. Many prophase I events are mediated by a meiosis-specific structure called the synaptonemal complex...
  19. Bellani M, Boateng K, McLeod D, Camerini Otero R. The expression profile of the major mouse SPO11 isoforms indicates that SPO11beta introduces double strand breaks and suggests that SPO11alpha has an additional role in prophase in both spermatocytes and oocytes. Mol Cell Biol. 2010;30:4391-403 pubmed publisher
    ..Altogether, our data support a role for SPO11alpha in mid- to late prophase, presumably acting as a topoisomerase, that would be conserved in male and female meiocytes. ..
  20. Bolcun Filas E, Schimenti J. Genetics of meiosis and recombination in mice. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2012;298:179-227 pubmed publisher
    ..In this chapter, we summarize current developments in mammalian meiosis enabled by genetically modified mice. ..
  21. Chuong H, Dawson D. Meiotic cohesin promotes pairing of nonhomologous centromeres in early meiotic prophase. Mol Biol Cell. 2010;21:1799-809 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings reveal a mechanism that promotes associations between centromeres before the assembly of the synaptonemal complex, and they demonstrate that chromosomes are preloaded with Zip1p in a manner that may promote synapsis. ..
  22. Li J, Harper L, Golubovskaya I, Wang C, Weber D, Meeley R, et al. Functional analysis of maize RAD51 in meiosis and double-strand break repair. Genetics. 2007;176:1469-82 pubmed
    ..The finding that maize rad51 double mutant embryos are extremely susceptible to radiation-induced DSBs demonstrates a conserved role for RAD51 in the repair of mitotic DSBs in plants, vertebrates, and yeast. ..
  23. Kouznetsova A, Novak I, Jessberger R, Hoog C. SYCP2 and SYCP3 are required for cohesin core integrity at diplotene but not for centromere cohesion at the first meiotic division. J Cell Sci. 2005;118:2271-8 pubmed
    ..This finding supports a model in which the removal of bulk cohesin from paired sister chromatids at late prophase in both meiotic and mitotic cells ensures proper chromosome compaction and segregation. ..
  24. Higgins J, Armstrong S, Franklin F, Jones G. The Arabidopsis MutS homolog AtMSH4 functions at an early step in recombination: evidence for two classes of recombination in Arabidopsis. Genes Dev. 2004;18:2557-70 pubmed
    ..Immunofluorescence studies indicate that its expression is limited to early meiotic prophase I, preceding the synapsis of homologous chromosomes...
  25. Bellani M, Romanienko P, Cairatti D, Camerini Otero R. SPO11 is required for sex-body formation, and Spo11 heterozygosity rescues the prophase arrest of Atm-/- spermatocytes. J Cell Sci. 2005;118:3233-45 pubmed
  26. Sheehan M, Pawlowski W. Live imaging of rapid chromosome movements in meiotic prophase I in maize. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:20989-94 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that the vigorous nuclear motility provides a mechanism for homologous loci to find each other during zygonema. ..
  27. Golubovskaya I, Hamant O, Timofejeva L, Wang C, Braun D, Meeley R, et al. Alleles of afd1 dissect REC8 functions during meiotic prophase I. J Cell Sci. 2006;119:3306-15 pubmed
    ..It provides the basis for a model in which AFD1/REC8 controls homologous pairing through its role in axial element elongation and the subsequent distribution of the recombination machinery independent of bouquet formation. ..
  28. Reis A, Chang H, Levasseur M, Jones K. APCcdh1 activity in mouse oocytes prevents entry into the first meiotic division. Nat Cell Biol. 2006;8:539-40 pubmed
    ..Here, we find that APCcdh1 is active in mouse oocytes and is necessary to maintain prophase arrest. ..
  29. Phillips C, Wong C, Bhalla N, Carlton P, Weiser P, Meneely P, et al. HIM-8 binds to the X chromosome pairing center and mediates chromosome-specific meiotic synapsis. Cell. 2005;123:1051-63 pubmed
    ..These observations indicate that stabilization of homolog pairing is an active process in which the tethering of chromosome sites to the NE may be necessary but is not sufficient. ..
  30. Harper L, Golubovskaya I, Cande W. A bouquet of chromosomes. J Cell Sci. 2004;117:4025-32 pubmed
    ..However, the progression through recombination and synapsis may be required for exit from the bouquet stage. Little is known about the mechanism of telomere clustering but recent studies show that it is an active process. ..
  31. Holmes R, Cohen P. Small RNAs and RNAi pathways in meiotic prophase I. Chromosome Res. 2007;15:653-65 pubmed
    ..Here we review developments in the field of RNAi and relate these to possible roles in mammalian gametogenesis. ..
  32. Yang X, Timofejeva L, Ma H, Makaroff C. The Arabidopsis SKP1 homolog ASK1 controls meiotic chromosome remodeling and release of chromatin from the nuclear membrane and nucleolus. J Cell Sci. 2006;119:3754-63 pubmed
    During early stages of meiotic prophase I the nucleus undergoes considerable reorganization, including the clustering of telomeres, the release of contacts between chromosomes and the nuclear membrane, the reorganization of the nucleolus, ..
  33. Chan R, Severson A, Meyer B. Condensin restructures chromosomes in preparation for meiotic divisions. J Cell Biol. 2004;167:613-25 pubmed
    ..The safeguarding of chromosome resolution by condensin permits chromosome segregation and is crucial for the formation of discrete, individualized bivalent chromosomes...
  34. Solc P, Schultz R, Motlik J. Prophase I arrest and progression to metaphase I in mouse oocytes: comparison of resumption of meiosis and recovery from G2-arrest in somatic cells. Mol Hum Reprod. 2010;16:654-64 pubmed publisher
    ..Mechanisms governing meiotic prophase I arrest and resumption of meiosis share common features with DNA damage-induced mitotic G2-checkpoint arrest ..
  35. Ray D, Hogarth C, Evans E, An W, Griswold M, Ye P. Experimental validation of Ankrd17 and Anapc10, two novel meiotic genes predicted by computational models in mice. Biol Reprod. 2012;86:102 pubmed publisher
    ..More importantly, they serve as a proof of concept of our integrative computational and experimental approach, which has delivered a larger candidate gene set to the broader reproductive community...
  36. Jordan P, Karppinen J, Handel M. Polo-like kinase is required for synaptonemal complex disassembly and phosphorylation in mouse spermatocytes. J Cell Sci. 2012;125:5061-72 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings provide mechanistic details of the first stage of SC disassembly in mammalian spermatocytes, and reveal that PLK-mediated phosphorylation of central element proteins is required for meiotic prophase exit...
  37. Hayashi M, Chin G, Villeneuve A. C. elegans germ cells switch between distinct modes of double-strand break repair during meiotic prophase progression. PLoS Genet. 2007;3:e191 pubmed
    ..Our data further suggest that meiotic cohesin component REC-8 may play a role in limiting the activity of SPO-11 in generating meiotic DSBs and that RAD-50 may function in counteracting this inhibition. ..
  38. Fukuda T, Daniel K, Wojtasz L, Toth A, Hoog C. A novel mammalian HORMA domain-containing protein, HORMAD1, preferentially associates with unsynapsed meiotic chromosomes. Exp Cell Res. 2010;316:158-71 pubmed publisher
    ..HORMAD1 first accumulates on the chromosomes during the leptotene to zygotene stages of meiotic prophase I. As germ cells progress into the pachytene stage, HORMAD1 disappears from the synapsed chromosomal regions...
  39. DiLuigi A, Weitzman V, Pace M, Siano L, Maier D, Mehlmann L. Meiotic arrest in human oocytes is maintained by a Gs signaling pathway. Biol Reprod. 2008;78:667-72 pubmed publisher
    In mammalian oocytes, the maintenance of meiotic prophase I arrest prior to the surge of LH that stimulates meiotic maturation depends on a high level of cAMP within the oocyte...
  40. Hamant O, Ma H, Cande W. Genetics of meiotic prophase I in plants. Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2006;57:267-302 pubmed
    During meiotic prophase I, traits are reassorted as a result of a highly organized process involving sister chromatid cohesion, homologous chromosome alignment, pairing, synapsis, and recombination...
  41. Nabeshima K, Villeneuve A, COLAIACOVO M. Crossing over is coupled to late meiotic prophase bivalent differentiation through asymmetric disassembly of the SC. J Cell Biol. 2005;168:683-9 pubmed
    ..We propose that crossovers or crossover precursors serve as symmetry-breaking events that promote differentiation of subregions of the bivalent by triggering asymmetric disassembly of the SC...
  42. Lenzi M, Smith J, Snowden T, Kim M, Fishel R, Poulos B, et al. Extreme heterogeneity in the molecular events leading to the establishment of chiasmata during meiosis i in human oocytes. Am J Hum Genet. 2005;76:112-27 pubmed
    ..responsible for the high error rates seen in human females, we sought to further elucidate the regulation of meiotic prophase I at the molecular cytogenetic level...
  43. Penkner A, Fridkin A, Gloggnitzer J, Baudrimont A, Machacek T, Woglar A, et al. Meiotic chromosome homology search involves modifications of the nuclear envelope protein Matefin/SUN-1. Cell. 2009;139:920-33 pubmed publisher
  44. Wang C, Carlton P, Golubovskaya I, Cande W. Interlock formation and coiling of meiotic chromosome axes during synapsis. Genetics. 2009;183:905-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Since interlocks are potentially deleterious if left unresolved, possible mechanisms for their resolution are discussed in this article...
  45. Roig I, Liebe B, Egozcue J, Cabero L, Garcia M, Scherthan H. Female-specific features of recombinational double-stranded DNA repair in relation to synapsis and telomere dynamics in human oocytes. Chromosoma. 2004;113:22-33 pubmed
    ..It is speculated that the presence of gamma-H2AX into pachytene highlights female-specific peculiarities of recombination, chromosome behavior and checkpoint control that may contribute to female susceptibility for aneuploidy. ..
  46. Scherthan H, Wang H, Adelfalk C, White E, Cowan C, Cande W, et al. Chromosome mobility during meiotic prophase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104:16934-9 pubmed
    ..These results show that SC movements involve telomere attachment to the nuclear periphery and are actin-dependent and suggest these movements could facilitate completion of meiotic recombination. ..
  47. Homer H, McDougall A, Levasseur M, Yallop K, Murdoch A, Herbert M. Mad2 prevents aneuploidy and premature proteolysis of cyclin B and securin during meiosis I in mouse oocytes. Genes Dev. 2005;19:202-7 pubmed
    ..The data suggest a link between trisomies such as Down syndrome and defective oocyte spindle checkpoint function. ..
  48. Hartshorne G, Lyrakou S, Hamoda H, Oloto E, Ghafari F. Oogenesis and cell death in human prenatal ovaries: what are the criteria for oocyte selection?. Mol Hum Reprod. 2009;15:805-19 pubmed publisher
    ..cellular level, on human prenatal oogenesis, offering clues about the importance of the timing of entry to meiotic prophase I by linking the stages and progress through MPI with the presence or absence of apoptotic markers...
  49. Viera A, Santos J, Parra M, Calvente A, Gómez R, de la Fuente R, et al. Cohesin axis maturation and presence of RAD51 during first meiotic prophase in a true bug. Chromosoma. 2009;118:575-89 pubmed publisher
    ..The mechanisms underlying the absence of SMC1alpha and SMC3 axes from the diffuse stage onwards are discussed. ..
  50. Diaz Martinez L, Giménez Abián J, Clarke D. Chromosome cohesion - rings, knots, orcs and fellowship. J Cell Sci. 2008;121:2107-14 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we review these advances and propose an integrative model in which chromatid cohesion is a result of the combined activities of multiple cohesion mechanisms. ..
  51. Li Y, Ray D, Ye P. Identification of germ cell-specific genes in mammalian meiotic prophase. BMC Bioinformatics. 2013;14:72 pubmed publisher
    ..Results from this study improve our understanding of the transition from germ cells to meiocytes in the mammalian gonad. Further, this approach is applicable to other tissues for which isolating cell populations remains difficult. ..
  52. Zheng K, Meng X, Yang Y, Yu Y, Liu D, Li Y. Requirements of Src family kinase during meiotic maturation in mouse oocyte. Mol Reprod Dev. 2007;74:125-30 pubmed
    ..When the SFK activity was inhibited, the oocyte failed to initiate GVBD, could not go into MII, and could not extrude the first polar body. Our results demonstrated that SFK is required for meiotic maturation in mouse oocyte. ..
  53. Valenzuela N, Perera E, Naranjo T. Identifying crossover-rich regions and their effect on meiotic homologous interactions by partitioning chromosome arms of wheat and rye. Chromosome Res. 2013;21:433-45 pubmed publisher
    ..All of these data support that among wheat and rye chromosomes, recombining regions are more often involved in homologous recognition and pairing than crossover-poor regions. ..