, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp 325-332

Two major components of synaptonemal complexes are specific for meiotic prophase nuclei

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Monoclonal antibody II52F10 was elicited against purified synaptonemal complexes (SCs); it recognizes two major components of the lateral elements of SCs, namely an Mr=30 000 and an Mr=33000 protein. We studied the distribution of the antigens of II52F10 within tissues and cells of the male rat by immunoblot analysis and immuno-cytochemical techniques. Nuclear proteins from various cell types, including spermatogonia and spermatids, did not react with antibody II52F10 on immunoblots; the same holds for proteins from isolated mitotic chromosomes. As expected, an Mr=30 000 and an Mr=33 000 protein from spermatocyte nuclei did react with the antibody. In cryostat sections of liver, brain, muscle and gut we could not detect any reaction with II52F10. In the testis the reaction was confined to SCs or SC fragments. Partly on the basis of indirect evidence we identified the antigen-containing cells as zygotene up to and including post-diffuse diplotene spermatocytes. The persistence of some antigen-containing fragments in the earliest stages of spermatids could not be excluded. We conclude that the lateral elements (LEs) of SCs are not assembled by rearrangement of pre-existing components of the nucleus: at least two of their major components are newly synthesized, presumably during zygotene. Furthermore we conclude partly from indirect evidence that the major components of the LEs of SCs are not involved in the chromosome condensation processes that take place during the earliest stages of meiotic prophase.