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Cell. 1995 Sep 8;82(5):815-21.

The mei-41 gene of D. melanogaster is a structural and functional homolog of the human ataxia telangiectasia gene.

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Department of Genetics, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


The D. melanogaster mei-41 gene is required for DNA repair, mitotic chromosome stability, and normal levels of meiotic recombination in oocytes. Here we show that the predicted mei-41 protein is similar in sequence to the ATM (ataxia telangiectasia) protein from humans and to the yeast rad3 and Mec1p proteins. There is also extensive functional overlap between mei-41 and ATM. Like ATM-deficient cells, mei-41 cells are exquisitely sensitive to ionizing radiation and display high levels of mitotic chromosome instability. We also demonstrate that mei-41 cells, like ATM-deficient cells, fail to show an irradiation-induced delay in the entry into mitosis that is characteristic of normal cells. Thus, the mei-41 gene of Drosophila may be considered to be a functional homolog of the human ATM gene.

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