Disjunction of homologous chromosomes in meiosis I depends on proteolytic cleavage of the meiotic cohesin Rec8 by separin.
Buonomo SB., Clyne RK., Fuchs J., Loidl J., Uhlmann F., Nasmyth K.
It has been proposed but never proven that cohesion between sister chromatids distal to chiasmata is responsible for holding homologous chromosomes together while spindles attempt to pull them toward opposite poles during metaphase of meiosis I. Meanwhile, the mechanism by which disjunction of homologs is triggered at the onset of anaphase I has remained a complete mystery. In yeast, cohesion between sister chromatid arms during meiosis depends on a meiosis-specific cohesin subunit called Rec8, whose mitotic equivalent, Sccl, is cleaved at the metaphase to anaphase transition by an endopeptidase called separin. We show here that cleavage of Rec8 by separin at one of two different sites is necessary for the resolution of chiasmata and the disjunction of homologous chromosomes during meiosis.