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Genetics. 2005 Aug;170(4):1737-45. Epub 2005 Jun 8.

Drosophila ERCC1 is required for a subset of MEI-9-dependent meiotic crossovers.

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Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Drosophila MEI-9 is the catalytic subunit of a DNA structure-specific endonuclease required for nucleotide excision repair (NER). The enzymatic activity of this endonuclease during NER requires the presence of a second, noncatalytic subunit called ERCC1. In addition to its role in NER, MEI-9 is required for the generation of most meiotic crossovers. To better understand the role of MEI-9 in crossover formation, we report here the characterization of the Drosophila Ercc1 gene. We created an Ercc1 mutant through homologous gene targeting. We find that Ercc1 mutants are identical to mei-9 mutants in sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, but have a less severe reduction in the number of meiotic crossovers. MEI-9 protein levels are reduced in Ercc1 mutants; however, overexpression of MEI-9 is not sufficient to restore meiotic crossing over in Ercc1 mutants. We conclude that MEI-9 can generate some meiotic crossovers in an ERCC1-independent manner.

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