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Genetics. 2019 Aug;212(4):1147-1162. doi: 10.1534/genetics.119.302395. Epub 2019 Jun 20.

Chromatin Modifiers Alter Recombination Between Divergent DNA Sequences.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-2703.
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-2703


Recombination between divergent DNA sequences is actively prevented by heteroduplex rejection mechanisms. In baker's yeast, such antirecombination mechanisms can be initiated by the recognition of DNA mismatches in heteroduplex DNA by MSH proteins, followed by recruitment of the Sgs1-Top3-Rmi1 helicase-topoisomerase complex to unwind the recombination intermediate. We previously showed that the repair/rejection decision during single-strand annealing recombination is temporally regulated by MSH (MutS homolog) protein levels and by factors that excise nonhomologous single-stranded tails. These observations, coupled with recent studies indicating that mismatch repair (MMR) factors interact with components of the histone chaperone machinery, encouraged us to explore roles for epigenetic factors and chromatin conformation in regulating the decision to reject vs. repair recombination between divergent DNA substrates. This work involved the use of an inverted repeat recombination assay thought to measure sister chromatid repair during DNA replication. Our observations are consistent with the histone chaperones CAF-1 and Rtt106, and the histone deacetylase Sir2, acting to suppress heteroduplex rejection and the Rpd3, Hst3, and Hst4 deacetylases acting to promote heteroduplex rejection. These observations, and double-mutant analysis, have led to a model in which nucleosomes located at DNA lesions stabilize recombination intermediates and compete with MMR factors that mediate heteroduplex rejection.


chromatin modifiers; heteroduplex rejection; histone chaperones; homologous recombination; mismatch repair

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