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Cell. 2004 Dec 29;119(7):927-40.

A protein complex containing Mei5 and Sae3 promotes the assembly of the meiosis-specific RecA homolog Dmc1.

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Institute for Protein Research, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Meiotic recombination requires the meiosis-specific RecA homolog Dmc1 as well as the mitotic RecA homolog Rad51. Here, we show that the two meiosis-specific proteins Mei5 and Sae3 are necessary for the assembly of Dmc1, but not for Rad51, on chromosomes including the association of Dmc1 with a recombination hot spot. Mei5, Sae3, and Dmc1 form a ternary and evolutionary conserved complex that requires Rad51 for recruitment to chromosomes. Mei5, Sae3, and Dmc1 are mutually dependent for their chromosome association, and their absence prevents the disassembly of Rad51 filaments. Our results suggest that Mei5 and Sae3 are loading factors for the Dmc1 recombinase and that the Dmc1-Mei5-Sae3 complex is integrated onto Rad51 ensembles and, together with Rad51, plays both catalytic and structural roles in interhomolog recombination during meiosis.

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