The role of bivalent ions in the regulation of D-loop extension mediated by DMC1 during meiotic recombination

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During meiosis, programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are repaired by homologous recombination. DMC1, a conserved recombinase, plays a central role in this process. DMC1 promotes DNA strand exchange between homologous chromosomes, thus creating the physical linkage between them. Its function is regulated not only by several accessory proteins but also by bivalent ions.
Here, we show that whereas calcium ions in the presence of ATP cause a conformational change within DMC1, stimulating its DNA binding andD-loop formation, they inhibit the extension of the invading strand within the D-loop. Based on structural studies, we have generated mutants of two highly conserved amino acids – E162 and D317 – in human DMC1, which are deficient in calcium regulation. In vivo studies of their yeast homologues further showed that they exhibit severe defects in meiosis, thus emphasizing the importance of calcium ions in the regulation of DMC1 function and meiotic recombination.

Journal details

Journal iScience
Volume 25
Issue number 11
Pages 105439
Available online
Publication date