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Genetics. 1999 Oct;153(2):555-72.

The conversion gradient at HIS4 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. I. Heteroduplex rejection and restoration of Mendelian segregation.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1229, USA.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, some gene loci manifest gradients in the frequency of aberrant segregation in meiosis, with the high end of each gradient corresponding to a hotspot for DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). The slope of a gradient is reduced when mismatch repair functions fail to act upon heteroduplex DNA-aberrant segregation frequencies at the low end of the gradient are higher in the absence of mismatch repair. Two models for the role of mismatch repair functions in the generation of meiotic "conversion gradients" have been proposed. The heteroduplex rejection model suggests that recognition of mismatches by mismatch repair enzymes limits hybrid DNA flanking the site of a DSB. The restoration-conversion model proposes that mismatch repair does not affect the length of hybrid DNA, but instead increasingly favors restoration of Mendelian segregation over full conversion with increasing distance from the DSB site. In our experiment designed to distinguish between these two models, data for one subset of well repairable mismatches in the HIS4 gene failed to show restoration-type repair but did indicate reduction in the length of hybrid DNA, supporting the heteroduplex rejection model. However, another subset of data manifested restoration-type repair, indicating a relationship between Holliday junction resolution and mismatch repair. We also present evidence for the infrequent formation of symmetric hybrid DNA during meiotic DSB repair.

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