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PLoS Genet. 2007 Jun;3(6):e100.

Cis- and trans-acting elements regulate the mouse Psmb9 meiotic recombination hotspot.

Author information

1
Institute of Human Genetics, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Propre de Recherche, Montpellier, France.

Abstract

In most eukaryotes, the prophase of the first meiotic division is characterized by a high level of homologous recombination between homologous chromosomes. Recombination events are not distributed evenly within the genome, but vary both locally and at large scale. Locally, most recombination events are clustered in short intervals (a few kilobases) called hotspots, separated by large intervening regions with no or very little recombination. Despite the importance of regulating both the frequency and the distribution of recombination events, the genetic factors controlling the activity of the recombination hotspots in mammals are still poorly understood. We previously characterized a recombination hotspot located close to the Psmb9 gene in the mouse major histocompatibility complex by sperm typing, demonstrating that it is a site of recombination initiation. With the goal of uncovering some of the genetic factors controlling the activity of this initiation site, we analyzed this hotspot in both male and female germ lines and compared the level of recombination in different hybrid mice. We show that a haplotype-specific element acts at distance and in trans to activate about 2,000-fold the recombination activity at Psmb9. Another haplotype-specific element acts in cis to repress initiation of recombination, and we propose this control to be due to polymorphisms located within the initiation zone. In addition, we describe subtle variations in the frequency and distribution of recombination events related to strain and sex differences. These findings show that most regulations observed act at the level of initiation and provide the first analysis of the control of the activity of a meiotic recombination hotspot in the mouse genome that reveals the interactions of elements located both in and outside the hotspot.

PMID:
17590084
PMCID:
PMC1892046
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.0030100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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