Meiosis is essential for generation of healthy gametes in both sexes and involves recombination and segregation of homologous chromosomes to produce haploid gametes. The initiation of meiosis in both sexes relies upon retinoic acid (RA) (Griswold MD, Hogarth CA, Bowles J, Koopman P. Initiating Meiosis: The Case for Retinoic Acid. Biol Reprod 2012; 86(35):1–7). Previous studies have demonstrated that the stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8) was required for meiotic progression in both the mouse ovary and postnatal testis. To identify additional candidates that may play a role during meiosis, we used microarray databases to generate lists of transcripts with expression profiles similar to that of Stra8 in the embryonic ovary and postnatal testis. One such gene, establishment of cohesion 1 homolog 2 (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (Esco2), has been described as a regulator of sister chromatid cohesion during mitosis. This study describes the first in-depth analysis of ESCO2 localization and regulation during meiosis in both males and females. ESCO2 colocalized with the gamma H2A histone family member X (H2AFX) in pachytene spermatocytes, indicating that ESCO2 is a component of the XY body. In pachytene cells of the embryonic ovary, ESCO2 colocalized with H2AFX, which is consistent with the presence of ESCO2 in areas of double-stranded breaks. In addition, the expression of Esco2 was found to be regulated by RA in the postnatal testis. These data indicate that ESCO2 may play a vital role in meiosis in both males and females.
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Vol. 87 • No. 3