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Curr Biol. 2000 Feb 10;10(3):145-8.

Discrete in vivo roles for the MutL homologs Mlh2p and Mlh3p in the removal of frameshift intermediates in budding yeast.

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Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta 30322, USA.


The DNA mismatch repair machinery is involved in the correction of a wide variety of mutational intermediates. In bacterial cells, homodimers of the MutS protein bind mismatches and MutL homodimers couple mismatch recognition to downstream processing steps [1]. Eukaryotes possess multiple MutS and MutL homologs that form discrete, heterodimeric complexes with specific mismatch recognition and repair properties. In yeast, there are six MutS (Msh1-6p) and four MutL (Mlh1-3p and Pms1p) family members [2] [3]. Heterodimers comprising Msh2p and Msh3p or Msh2p and Msh6p recognize mismatches in nuclear DNA [4] [5] and the subsequent processing steps most often involve a Mlh1p-Pms1P heterodimer [6] [7]. Mlh1p also forms heterodimeric complexes with Mlh2p and Mlh3p [8], and a minor role for Mlh3p in nuclear mismatch repair has been reported [9]. No mismatch repair function has yet been assigned to the fourth yeast MutL homolog, Mlh2p, although mlh2 mutants exhibit weak resistance to some DNA damaging agents [10]. We have used two frameshift reversion assays to examine the roles of the yeast Mlh2 and Mlh3 proteins in vivo. This analysis demonstrates, for the first time, that yeast Mlh2p plays a role in the repair of mutational intermediates, and extends earlier results implicating Mlh3p in mismatch repair.

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