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EMBO J. 1994 Nov 15;13(22):5355-60.

Interference of DNA sequence divergence with precise recombinational DNA repair in mammalian cells.

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Research and Development, Canadian Red Cross Society, Montreal Center.


Studies done in prokaryotes and eukaryotes have indicated that DNA sequence divergence decreases the frequency of homologous recombination. To determine which step(s) of homologous recombination is sensitive to DNA sequence divergence in mammalian cells we have used an assay that does not rely on the recovery of functional products. The assay is based on the acquisition by homologous recombination of endogenous LINE-1 sequences by exogenous LINE-1 sequences. In parallel experiments, we introduced into mouse cells two gapped exogenous LINE-1 sequences, one from the mouse, L1Md-A2, and the other from the rat, L1Rn-3. Although L1Rn-3 is on average less than 85% homologous to the LINE-1 elements of the mouse, the frequency of homologous recombination with endogenous LINE-1 elements obtained with L1Rn-3 was the same as the one obtained with L1Md-A2 which is on average 95% homologous to the LINE-1 elements of the mouse. The endogenous LINE-1 sequences rescued by L1Rn-3 were 8-18% divergent from L1Rn-3 sequences, whereas those rescued by L1Md-A2 were 2-5% divergent from L1Md-A2 sequences. The gap which had been introduced into the exogenous LINE-1 sequences had been precisely repaired in 50% of the recombinants obtained with L1Md-A2. None of the L1Rn-3 recombinants showed precise gap repair.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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