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Gathering up meiotic telomeres: a novel function of the microtubule-organizing center.

Authors: Ayumu A. Yamamoto
Published: 01/11/2014, Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS


During meiosis, telomeres cluster and promote homologous chromosome pairing. Telomere clustering depends on conserved SUN and KASH domain nuclear membrane proteins, which form a complex called the linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) and connect telomeres with the cytoskeleton. It has been thought that LINC-mediated cytoskeletal forces induce telomere clustering. However, how cytoskeletal forces induce telomere clustering is not fully understood. Recent study of fission yeast has shown that the LINC complex forms the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) at the telomere, which has been designated as the "telocentrosome", and that microtubule motors gather telomeres via telocentrosome-nucleated microtubules. This MTOC-dependent telomere clustering might be conserved in other eukaryotes. Furthermore, the MTOC-dependent clustering mechanism appears to function in various other biological events. This review presents an overview of the current understanding of the mechanism of meiotic telomere clustering and discusses the universality of the MTOC-dependent clustering mechanism.

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