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Mol Cell. 2004 Feb 27;13(4):549-59.

Antiviral protein Ski8 is a direct partner of Spo11 in meiotic DNA break formation, independent of its cytoplasmic role in RNA metabolism.

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Molecular Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, 1275 York Avenue, Box 97, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Meiotic recombination initiates with double-strand breaks (DSBs) catalyzed by Spo11 in conjunction with accessory proteins whose roles are not understood. Two-hybrid analysis reveals a network of interactions connecting the yeast DSB proteins to one another. Of these proteins, Ski8 was known to function in cytoplasmic RNA metabolism, suggesting that its role in recombination might be indirect. However, obligate partners of Ski8 in RNA metabolism are dispensable for recombination and Ski8 relocalizes to the nucleus and associates with chromosomes specifically during meiosis. Interaction of Ski8 with Spo11 is essential for DSB formation and Ski8 relocalization. Thus, Ski8 plays distinct roles in RNA metabolism and, as a direct partner of Spo11, in DSB formation. Ski8 works with Spo11 to recruit other DSB proteins to meiotic chromosomes, implicating Ski8 as a scaffold protein mediating assembly of a multiprotein complex essential for DSB formation.

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