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Genetics. 2011 Feb;187(2):385-96. doi: 10.1534/genetics.110.124636. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

Important characteristics of sequence-specific recombination hotspots in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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Department of Biology, Niagara University, Lewiston, New York 14109, USA.


In many organisms, meiotic recombination occurs preferentially at a limited number of sites in the genome known as hotspots. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, simple sequence motifs determine the location of at least some, and possibly most or all, hotspots. Recently, we showed that a large number of different sequences can create hotspots. Among those sequences we identified some recurring motifs that fell into at least five distinct families, including the well-characterized CRE family of hotspots. Here we report the essential sequence for activity of two of the novel hotspots, the oligo-C and CCAAT hotspots, and identify associated trans-acting factors required for hotspot activity. The oligo-C hotspot requires a unique 8-bp sequence, CCCCGCAC, though hotspot activity is also significantly affected by adjacent nucleotides. The CCAAT hotspot requires a more complex and degenerate sequence, including the originally identified seven nucleotide CCAATCA sequence at its core. We identified transcription factors, the CCAAT-binding factor (CBF) and Rst2, which are required specifically for activity of the CCAAT hotspots and oligo-C hotspots, respectively. Each of these factors binds to its respective motifs in vitro. However, unlike CRE, the sequence required for hotspot activity is larger than the sequence required for binding, suggesting the involvement of additional factors.

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