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Genetics. 1995 Sep;141(1):33-48.

Active and inactive transplacement of the M26 recombination hotspot in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


The ade6-M26 mutation of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe creates a meiotic recombination hotspot that elevates ade6 intragenic recombination approximately 10-15-fold. A heptanucleotide sequence including the M26 point mutation is required but not sufficient for hotspot activity. We studied the effects of plasmid and chromosomal context on M26 hotspot activity. The M26 hotspot was inactive on a multicopy plasmid containing M26 embedded within 3.0 or 5.9 kb of ade6 DNA. Random S. pombe genomic fragments totaling approximately 7 Mb did not activate the M26 hotspot on a plasmid. M26 hotspot activity was maintained when 3.0-, 4.4-, and 5.9-kb ade6-M26 DNA fragments, with various amounts of non-S. pombe plasmid DNA, were integrated at the ura4 chromosomal locus, but only in certain configurations relative to the ura4 gene and the cointegrated plasmid DNA. Several integrations created new M26-independent recombination hotspots. In all cases the non-ade6 DNA was located > 1 kb from the M26 site, and in some cases > 2 kb. Because the chromosomal context effect was transmitted over large distances, and did not appear to be mediated by a single discrete DNA sequence element, we infer that the local chromatin structure has a pronounced effect on M26 hotspot activity.

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