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Plant J. 2005 Sep;43(6):789-98.

Arabidopsis RecQI4A suppresses homologous recombination and modulates DNA damage responses.

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Molecular Biology of Plants, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN Haren, The Netherlands.


The DNA damage response and DNA recombination are two interrelated mechanisms involved in maintaining the integrity of the genome, but in plants they are poorly understood. RecQ is a family of genes with conserved roles in the regulation of DNA recombination in eukaryotes; there are seven members in Arabidopsis. Here we report on the functional analysis of the Arabidopsis RecQl4A gene. Ectopic expression of Arabidopsis RecQl4A in yeast RecQ-deficient cells suppressed their hypersensitivity to the DNA-damaging drug methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and enhanced their rate of homologous recombination (HR). Analysis of three recQl4A mutant alleles revealed no obvious developmental defects or telomere deregulation in plants grown under standard growth conditions. Compared with wild-type Arabidopsis, the recQl4A mutant seedlings were found to be hypersensitive to UV light and MMS, and more resistant to mitomycin C. The average frequency of intrachromosomal HR in recQl4A mutant plants was increased 7.5-fold over that observed in wild-type plants. The data reveal roles for Arabidopsis RecQl4A in maintenance of genome stability by modulation of the DNA damage response and suppression of HR.

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