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Med Sci (Paris). 2003 Jan;19(1):85-91.

[Homologs of MutS and MutL during mammalian meiosis].

[Article in French]

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Equipe M3R, LRC CEA no. 32-V, UMR Cnrs UNSA 6549, Faculté de Médecine, avenue de Valombrose, 06107 Nice, France.


In eukaryotes, homologs of the Escherichia coli MutS and MutL proteins are crucial for both meiotic recombination and post-replicative DNA mismatch repair. Both pathways require the formation of a MutS homolog complex which interacts with a second heterodimer, composed of two MutL homologs. During mammalian meiosis, it is likely that chromosome synapsis requires the presence of a MSH4-MSH5 heterodimer. PMS2, a MutL homolog, seems to play an important role in this process. A MSH4-MSH5 heterodimer is also likely present later with other MutL homologs (MLH1 and MLH3) and is involved in the crossing-over process. The phenotype of msh4-/- mutant mice and MSH4 immunolocalization on meiotic chromosomes suggest that MSH4 has an early function in mammalian meiotic recombination. Both MSH4 and PMS2 directly interact with the RAD51 DNA strand exchange protein. In addition, MSH4 and RAD51 proteins co-localize on mouse meiotic chromosome cores. These results suggest that MSH4 and its partners could act, just after strand exchange promoted by RAD51, to check the homology of DNA heteroduplexes.

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