SKP1 drives the prophase I to metaphase I transition during male meiosis

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Science Advances  25 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 13, eaaz2129
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz2129


The meiotic prophase I to metaphase I (PI/MI) transition requires chromosome desynapsis and metaphase competence acquisition. However, control of these major meiotic events is poorly understood. Here, we identify an essential role for SKP1, a core subunit of the SKP1–Cullin–F-box (SCF) ubiquitin E3 ligase, in the PI/MI transition. SKP1 localizes to synapsed chromosome axes and evicts HORMAD proteins from these regions in meiotic spermatocytes. SKP1-deficient spermatocytes display premature desynapsis, precocious pachytene exit, loss of PLK1 and BUB1 at centromeres, but persistence of HORMAD, γH2AX, RPA2, and MLH1 in diplonema. Strikingly, SKP1-deficient spermatocytes show sharply reduced MPF activity and fail to enter MI despite treatment with okadaic acid. SKP1-deficient oocytes exhibit desynapsis, chromosome misalignment, and progressive postnatal loss. Therefore, SKP1 maintains synapsis in meiosis of both sexes. Furthermore, our results support a model where SKP1 functions as the long-sought intrinsic metaphase competence factor to orchestrate MI entry during male meiosis.

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