The SRS2 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes a DNA helicase that is active in the postreplication repair pathway and homologous recombination. srs2 mutations are lethal in a rad54Delta background and cause poor growth or lethality in rdh54Delta, rad50Delta, mre11Delta, xrs2Delta, rad27Delta, sgs1Delta, and top3Delta backgrounds. Some of these genotypes are known to be defective in double-strand break repair. Many of these lethalities or poor growth can be suppressed by mutations in other genes in the DSB repair pathway, namely rad51, rad52, rad55, and rad57, suggesting that inhibition of recombination at a prior step prevents formation of a lethal intermediate. Lethality of the srs2Delta rad54Delta and srs2Delta rdh54Delta double mutants can also be rescued by mutations in the DNA damage checkpoint functions RAD9, RAD17, RAD24, and MEC3, indicating that the srs2 rad54 and srs2 rdh54 mutant combinations lead to an intermediate that is sensed by these checkpoint functions. When the checkpoints are intact the cells never reverse from the arrest, but loss of the checkpoints releases the arrest. However, cells do not achieve wild-type growth rates, suggesting that unrepaired damage is still present and may lead to chromosome loss.
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