Friday, November 13, 2009

Chromosomes dance and pair up on the nuclear membrane

Meiosis – the pairing and recombination of chromosomes, followed by segregation of half to each egg or sperm cell – is a major crossroads in all organisms reproducing sexually. Yet, how the cell precisely choreographs these chromosomal interactions is a long-standing question. New findings by UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab scientist Abby Dernburg show that the cell's cytoskeleton, which moves things around in the cell, plays a critical role, essentially reaching into the nucleus to bring chromosome pairs together in preparation for recombination and segregation. More>