Chromosome condensation, a process mediated by the condensin complex, is essential for proper chromosome segregation during cell division. Unlike rapid mitotic chromosome condensation, meiotic chromosome condensation occurs over a relatively long prophase I and is unusually complex due to the coordination with chromosome axis formation and homolog interaction. The molecular mechanisms that regulate meiotic chromosome condensation progression from prophase I to metaphase I are unclear. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana meiotic PHD-finger protein MMD1/DUET is required for progressive compaction of prophase I chromosomes to metaphase I bivalents. The MMD1 PHD domain is required for its function in chromosome condensation and binds to methylated histone tails. Transcriptome analysis and qRT-PCR showed that several condensin genes exhibit significantly reduced expression in mmd1 meiocytes. Furthermore, MMD1 specifically binds to the promoter region of the condensin subunit gene CAP-D3 to enhance its expression. Moreover, cap-d3 mutants exhibit similar chromosome condensation defects, revealing an MMD1-dependent mechanism for regulating meiotic chromosome condensation, which functions in part by promoting condensin gene expression. Together, these discoveries provide strong evidence that the histone reader MMD1/DUET defines an important step for regulating the progression of meiotic prophase I chromosome condensation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology