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Cell. 2006 Jun 30;125(7):1321-32.

Cyclin-dependent kinase directly regulates initiation of meiotic recombination.

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  • 1Molecular Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, and Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Meiosis is a specialized cell division that halves the genome complement, producing haploid gametes/spores from diploid cells. Proper separation of homologous chromosomes at the first meiotic division requires the production of physical connections (chiasmata) between homologs through recombinational exchange of chromosome arms after sister-chromatid cohesion is established but before chromosome segregation takes place. The events of meiotic prophase must thus occur in a strictly temporal order, but the molecular controls coordinating these events have not been well elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that the budding yeast cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc28 directly regulates the formation of the DNA double-strand breaks that initiate recombination by phosphorylating the Mer2/Rec107 protein and thereby modulating interactions of Mer2 with other proteins required for break formation. We propose that this function of Cdc28 helps to coordinate the events of meiotic prophase with each other and with progression through prophase.

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