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FASEB J. 2000 Aug;14(11):1539-47.

MSH4 acts in conjunction with MLH1 during mammalian meiosis.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Cellulaire, UMR CNRS/UNSA 6549, Faculté de Médecine, 06107 Nice cédex 2, France.


MSH4 is a meiosis-specific MutS homolog. In yeast, it is required for reciprocal recombination and proper segregation of homologous chromosomes at meiosis I. MLH1 (MutL homolog 1) facilitates both mismatch repair and crossing over during meiosis in yeast. Germ-line mutations in the MLH1 human gene are responsible for hereditary nonpolyposis cancer, but the analysis of MLH1-deficient mice has revealed that MLH1 is also required for reciprocal recombination in mammals. Here we show that hMSH4 interacts with hMLH1. The two proteins are coimmunoprecipitated regardless of the presence of DNA or ATP, suggesting that the interaction does not require the binding of MSH4 to DNA. The domain of hMSH4 responsible for the interaction is in the amino-terminal part of the protein whereas the region that contains the ATP binding site and helix-turn-helix motif does not bind to hMLH1. Immunolocalization analysis shows that MSH4 is present at sites along the synaptonemal complex as soon as homologous chromosomes synapse. The number of MSH4 foci decreases gradually as pachynema progresses. During this transition, MLH1 foci begin to appear and colocalize with MSH4. These results suggest that MSH4 is first required for chromosome synapsis and that this MutS homologue is involved later with MLH1 in meiotic reciprocal recombination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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