Agostinho A, Kouznetsova A, Hernández-Hernández A, Bernhem K, Blom H, Brismar H, Höög C
J. Cell. Sci. 131 (5) - [2018-03-06; online 2018-03-06]
Sexual dimorphism has been used to describe morphological differences between the sexes, but can be extended to any biologically related process that varies between males and females. The synaptonemal complex (SC) is a tripartite structure that connects homologous chromosomes in meiosis. Here, aided by super-resolution microscopy techniques, we show that the SC is subject to sexual dimorphism, in mouse germ cells. We have identified a significantly narrower SC in oocytes and have established that this difference does not arise from a different organization of the lateral elements nor from a different isoform of transverse filament protein SYCP1. Instead, we provide evidence for the existence of a narrower central element and a different integration site for the C-termini of SYCP1, in females. In addition to these female-specific features, we speculate that post-translation modifications affecting the SYCP1 coiled-coil region could render a more compact conformation, thus contributing to the narrower SC observed in females.