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Genetics. 2005 Jul;170(3):1033-43. Epub 2005 May 6.

The large loop repair and mismatch repair pathways of Saccharomyces cerevisiae act on distinct substrates during meiosis.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


During meiotic recombination in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, heteroduplex DNA is formed when single-stranded DNAs from two homologs anneal as a consequence of strand invasion. If the two DNA strands differ in sequence, a mismatch will be generated. Mismatches in heteroduplex DNA are recognized and repaired efficiently by meiotic DNA mismatch repair systems. Components of two meiotic systems, mismatch repair (MMR) and large loop repair (LLR), have been identified previously, but the substrate range of these repair systems has never been defined. To determine the substrates for the MMR and LLR repair pathways, we constructed insertion mutations at HIS4 that form loops of varying sizes when complexed with wild-type HIS4 sequence during meiotic heteroduplex DNA formation. We compared the frequency of repair during meiosis in wild-type diploids and in diploids lacking components of either MMR or LLR. We find that the LLR pathway does not act on single-stranded DNA loops of <16 nucleotides in length. We also find that the MMR pathway can act on loops up to 17, but not >19, nucleotides in length, indicating that the two pathways overlap slightly in their substrate range during meiosis. Our data reveal differences in mitotic and meiotic MMR and LLR; these may be due to alterations in the functioning of each complex or result from subtle sequence context influences on repair of the various mismatches examined.

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