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Reference: Keeney S and Kleckner N (1995) Covalent protein-DNA complexes at the 5' strand termini of meiosis-specific double-strand breaks in yeast. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 92(24):11274-8

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Abstract


During meiosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the first chemical step in homologous recombination is the occurrence of site-specific DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In wild-type cells, these breaks undergo resection of their 5' strand termini to yield molecules with 3' single-stranded tails. We have further characterized the breaks that accumulate in rad50S mutant stains defective in DSB resection. We find that these DSBs are tightly associated with protein via what appears to be a covalent linkage. When genomic DNA is prepared from meiotic rad50S cultures without protease treatment steps, the restriction fragments diagnostic of DSBs selectively partition to the organic-aqueous interphase in phenol extractions and band at lower than normal density in CsCl density gradients. Selective partitioning and decreased buoyant density are abolished if the DNA is treated with proteinase K prior to analysis. Similar results are obtained with sae2-1 mutant strains, which have phenotypes identical to rad50S mutants. The protein is bound specifically to the 5' strand termini of DSBs and is present at both 5' ends in at least a fraction of breaks. The stability of the complex to various protein denaturants and the strand specificity of the attachment are most consistent with a covalent linkage to DSB termini. We propose that the DSB-associated protein is the catalytic subunit of the meiotic recombination initiation nuclease and that it cleaves DNA via a covalent protein-DNA intermediate.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't | Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Authors
Keeney S, Kleckner N
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