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Cell. 2008 Mar 7;132(5):758-70. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.01.035.

Phosphorylation of the axial element protein Hop1 by Mec1/Tel1 ensures meiotic interhomolog recombination.

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Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London NW7 1AA, UK.


An essential feature of meiosis is interhomolog recombination whereby a significant fraction of the programmed meiotic double-strand breaks (DSBs) is repaired using an intact homologous non-sister chromatid rather than a sister. Involvement of Mec1 and Tel1, the budding yeast homologs of the mammalian ATR and ATM kinases, in meiotic interhomlog bias has been implicated, but the mechanism remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that Mec1 and Tel1 promote meiotic interhomolog recombination by targeting the axial element protein Hop1. Without Mec1/Tel1 phosphorylation of Hop1, meiotic DSBs are rapidly repaired via a Dmc1-independent intersister repair pathway, resulting in diminished interhomolog crossing-over leading to spore lethality. We find that Mec1/Tel1-mediated phosphorylation of Hop1 is required for activation of Mek1, a meiotic paralogue of the DNA-damage effector kinase, Rad53p/CHK2. Thus, Hop1 is a meiosis-specific adaptor protein of the Mec1/Tel1 signaling pathway that ensures interhomolog recombination by preventing Dmc1-independent repair of meiotic DSBs.

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