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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The Atr and Atm protein kinases associate with different sites along meiotically pairing chromosomes.

A number of cell-cycle checkpoint genes have been shown to play important roles in meiosis. We have characterized the human and mouse counterpart of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Rad3 protein, named Atr (for ataxia-telangiectasia- and rad3-related), and the protein that is mutated in ataxia-telangiectasia, Atm. We demonstrate that ATR mRNA and protein are expressed in human and mouse testis. More detailed analysis of specific cells in seminiferous tubules shows localization of Atr to the nuclei of cells in the process of meiosis I. Using immunoprecipitation and immunoblot analysis, we show that Atr and Atm proteins are approximately 300 and 350 kD relative molecular mass, respectively, and further demonstrate that both proteins have associated protein kinase activity. Further, we demonstrate that Atr and Atm interact directly with meiotic chromosomes and show complementary localization patterns on synapsing chromosomes. Atr is found at sites along unpaired or asynapsed chromosomal axes, whereas Atm is found along synapsed chromosomal axes. This is the first demonstration of a nuclear association of Atr and Atm proteins with meiotic chromosomes and suggests a direct role for these proteins in recognizing and responding to DNA strand interruptions that occur during meiotic recombination.[1]


  1. The Atr and Atm protein kinases associate with different sites along meiotically pairing chromosomes. Keegan, K.S., Holtzman, D.A., Plug, A.W., Christenson, E.R., Brainerd, E.E., Flaggs, G., Bentley, N.J., Taylor, E.M., Meyn, M.S., Moss, S.B., Carr, A.M., Ashley, T., Hoekstra, M.F. Genes Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
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