Defining the influence of Rad51 and Dmc1 lineage-specific amino acids on genetic recombinationMore about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listJustin B Steinfeld Ondrej Beláň Youngho Kwon Tsuyoshi Terakawa Amr Al-Zain Michael J Smith J Brooks Crickard Zhi Qi Weixing Zhao Rodney Rothstein Lorraine S Symington Patrick Sung Simon Boulton Eric C Greene
The vast majority of eukaryotes possess two DNA recombinases: Rad51, which is ubiquitously expressed, and Dmc1, which is meiosis-specific. The evolutionary origins of this two-recombinase system remain poorly understood. Interestingly, Dmc1 can stabilize mismatch-containing base triplets, whereas Rad51 cannot. Here, we demonstrate that this difference can be attributed to three amino acids conserved only within the Dmc1 lineage of the Rad51/RecA family. Chimeric Rad51 mutants harboring Dmc1-specific amino acids gain the ability to stabilize heteroduplex DNA joints with mismatch-containing base triplets, whereas Dmc1 mutants with Rad51-specific amino acids lose this ability. Remarkably, RAD-51 from Caenorhabditis elegans, an organism without Dmc1, has acquired "Dmc1-like" amino acids. Chimeric C. elegans RAD-51 harboring "canonical" Rad51 amino acids gives rise to toxic recombination intermediates, which must be actively dismantled to permit normal meiotic progression. We propose that Dmc1 lineage-specific amino acids involved in the stabilization of heteroduplex DNA joints with mismatch-containing base triplets may contribute to normal meiotic recombination.
Journal Genes and Development
Issue number 17-18