Indexed on: 25 Mar '14Published on: 25 Mar '14Published in: Journal of Genetics and Genomics
Meiosis is a key event in gametogenesis that generates new combinations of genetic information and is required to reduce the chromosome content of the gametes. Meiotic chromosomes undergo a number of specialised events during prophase to allow meiotic recombination, homologous chromosome synapsis and reductional chromosome segregation to occur. In mammalian cells, DNA physically associates with histones to form chromatin, which can be modified by methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination and acetylation to help regulate higher order chromatin structure, gene expression, and chromosome organisation. Recent studies have identified some of the enzymes responsible for generating chromatin modifications in meiotic mammalian cells, and shown that these chromatin modifying enzymes are required for key meiosis-specific events that occur during meiotic prophase. This review will discuss the role of chromatin modifications in meiotic recombination, homologous chromosome synapsis and regulation of meiotic gene expression in mammals.