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Nature. 2007 Aug 16;448(7155):820-3. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

Break-induced replication and telomerase-independent telomere maintenance require Pol32.

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MS029 Rosenstiel Centre, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110, USA.


Break-induced replication (BIR) is an efficient homologous recombination process to initiate DNA replication when only one end of a chromosome double-strand break shares homology with a template. BIR is thought to re-establish replication at stalled and broken replication forks and to act at eroding telomeres in cells that lack telomerase in pathways known as 'alternative lengthening of telomeres' (reviewed in refs 2, 6). Here we show that, in haploid budding yeast, Rad51-dependent BIR induced by HO endonuclease requires the lagging strand DNA Polalpha-primase complex as well as Poldelta to initiate new DNA synthesis. Polepsilon is not required for the initial primer extension step of BIR but is required to complete 30 kb of new DNA synthesis. Initiation of BIR also requires the nonessential DNA Poldelta subunit Pol32 primarily through its interaction with another Poldelta subunit, Pol31. HO-induced gene conversion, in which both ends of a double-strand break engage in homologous recombination, does not require Pol32. Pol32 is also required for the recovery of both Rad51-dependent and Rad51-independent survivors in yeast strains lacking telomerase. These results strongly suggest that both types of telomere maintenance pathways occur by recombination-dependent DNA replication. Thus Pol32, dispensable for replication and for gene conversion, is uniquely required for BIR; this finding provides an opening into understanding how DNA replication re-start mechanisms operate in eukaryotes. We also note that Pol32 homologues have been identified both in fission yeast and in metazoans where telomerase-independent survivors with alternative telomere maintenance have also been identified.

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