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Genetics. 1995 Oct;141(2):619-27.

The Drosophila meiotic recombination gene mei-9 encodes a homologue of the yeast excision repair protein Rad1.

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Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Meiotic recombination and DNA repair are mediated by overlapping sets of genes. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, many genes required to repair DNA double-strand breaks are also required for meiotic recombination. In contrast, mutations in genes required for nucleotide excision repair (NER) have no detectable effects on meiotic recombination in S. cerevisiae. The Drosophila melanogaster mei-9 gene is unique among known recombination genes in that it is required for both meiotic recombination and NER. We have analyzed the mei-9 gene at the molecular level and found that it encodes a homologue of the S. cerevisiae excision repair protein Rad1, the probable homologue of mammalian XPF/ERCC4. Hence, the predominant process of meiotic recombination in Drosophila proceeds through a pathway that is at least partially distinct from that of S. cerevisiae, in that it requires an NER protein. The biochemical properties of the Rad1 protein allow us to explain the observation that mei-9 mutants suppress reciprocal exchange without suppressing the frequency of gene conversion.

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