A natural meiotic DNA break site in Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a hotspot of gene conversion, highly associated with crossing over.
ABSTRACT: In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, meiosis-specific DNA breaks that initiate recombination are observed at prominent but widely separated sites. We investigated the relationship between breakage and recombination at one of these sites, the mbs1 locus on chromosome I. Breaks corresponding to 10% of chromatids were mapped to four clusters spread over a 2.1-kb region. Gene conversion of markers within the clusters occurred in 11% of tetrads (3% of meiotic chromatids), making mbs1 a conversion hotspot when compared to other fission yeast markers. Approximately 80% of these conversions were associated with crossing over of flanking markers, suggesting a strong bias in meiotic break repair toward the generation of crossovers. This bias was observed in conversion events at three other loci, ade6, ade7, and ura1. A total of 50-80% of all crossovers seen in a 90-kb region flanking mbs1 occurred in a 4.8-kb interval containing the break sites. Thus, mbs1 is also a hotspot of crossing over, with breakage at mbs1 generating most of the crossovers in the 90-kb interval. Neither Rec12 (Spo11 ortholog) nor I-SceI-induced breakage at mbs1 was significantly associated with crossing over in an apparently break-free interval >25 kb away. Possible mechanisms for generating crossovers in such break-free intervals are discussed.
Project description:Viable gamete formation requires segregation of homologous chromosomes connected, in most species, by crossovers. DNA double-strand break (DSB) formation and the resulting crossovers are regulated at multiple levels to prevent overabundance along chromosomes. Meiotic cells coordinate these events between distant sites, but the physical basis of long-distance chromosomal communication has been unknown. We show that DSB hotspots up to ~200 kb (~35 cM) apart form clusters via hotspot-binding proteins Rec25 and Rec27 in fission yeast. Clustering coincides with hotspot competition and interference over similar distances. Without Tel1 (ATM tumor-suppressor homolog), DSB and crossover interference become negative, reflecting coordinated action along a chromosome. These results indicate that DSB hotspots within a limited chromosomal region and bound by their protein determinants form a clustered structure that, via Tel1, allows only one DSB per region. Such a “roulette” process among clusters explains the observed pattern of crossover interference in fission yeast. Key structural and regulatory components of clusters are phylogenetically conserved, suggesting conservation of this vital regulation. Based on these observations, we discuss variations on a model in which clustering and competition between DSB sites leads to DSB interference and in turn produces crossover interference. Overall design: Meiotic DSBs (Rec12-DNA linkages) assayed in two strains that differ at two hotspots: one strain has the ade6-3049 hotspot but lacks mbs1, while the other has the ade6-3057 non-hotspot allele but has mbs1.
Project description:Gene conversions and crossovers are related products of the repair of double-stranded DNA breaks by homologous recombination. Most previous studies of mitotic gene conversion events have been restricted to measuring conversion tracts that are <5 kb. Using a genetic assay in which the lengths of very long gene conversion tracts can be measured, we detected two types of conversions: those with a median size of ?6 kb and those with a median size of >50 kb. The unusually long tracts are initiated at a naturally occurring recombination hotspot formed by two inverted Ty elements. We suggest that these long gene conversion events may be generated by a mechanism (break-induced replication or repair of a double-stranded DNA gap) different from the short conversion tracts that likely reflect heteroduplex formation followed by DNA mismatch repair. Both the short and long mitotic conversion tracts are considerably longer than those observed in meiosis. Since mitotic crossovers in a diploid can result in a heterozygous recessive deleterious mutation becoming homozygous, it has been suggested that the repair of DNA breaks by mitotic recombination involves gene conversion events that are unassociated with crossing over. In contrast to this prediction, we found that ?40% of the conversion tracts are associated with crossovers. Spontaneous mitotic crossover events in yeast are frequent enough to be an important factor in genome evolution.
Project description:Meiotic crossovers detected by pedigree analysis in the mouse MHC cluster into hotspots. To explore the properties of hotspots, we subjected the class II E(beta) gene to high-resolution sperm crossover analysis. We confirm the presence of a highly localized hotspot 1.0-1.6 kb wide in the second intron of E(beta) and show that it is flanked by DNA which is almost completely recombinationally inert. Mice heterozygous for haplotype s and another MHC haplotype show major haplotype-dependant variation in crossover rate but always the same hotspot, even in crosses including the highly diverged p haplotype. Crossovers in reciprocal orientations occur at similar rates but show different distributions across the hotspot, with the position of centre points in the two orientations shifted on average by 400 bp. This asymmetry results in crossover products showing biased gene conversion in favour of hotspot markers from the non-initiating haplotype, and supports the double-strand break repair model of recombination, with haplotype s as the most efficient crossover initiator. The detailed behaviour of the E(beta) hotspot, including evidence for highly localized recombination initiation, is strikingly similar to human hotspots.
Project description:Homologous recombination is an important mechanism for the repair of DNA damage in mitotically dividing cells. Mitotic crossovers between homologues with heterozygous alleles can produce two homozygous daughter cells (loss of heterozygosity), whereas crossovers between repeated genes on non-homologous chromosomes can result in translocations. Using a genetic system that allows selection of daughter cells that contain the reciprocal products of mitotic crossing over, we mapped crossovers and gene conversion events at a resolution of about 4 kb in a 120-kb region of chromosome V of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The gene conversion tracts associated with mitotic crossovers are much longer (averaging about 12 kb) than the conversion tracts associated with meiotic recombination and are non-randomly distributed along the chromosome. In addition, about 40% of the conversion events have patterns of marker segregation that are most simply explained as reflecting the repair of a chromosome that was broken in G1 of the cell cycle.
Project description:The ability to examine all chromatids from a single meiosis in yeast tetrads has been indispensable for defining the mechanisms of homologous recombination initiated by DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Using a broadly applicable strategy for the analysis of chromatids from a single meiosis at two recombination hotspots in mouse oocytes and spermatocytes, we demonstrate here the unidirectional transfer of information-gene conversion-in both crossovers and noncrossovers. Whereas gene conversion in crossovers is associated with reciprocal exchange, the unbroken chromatid is not altered in noncrossover gene conversion events, providing strong evidence that noncrossovers arise from a distinct pathway. Gene conversion frequently spares the binding site of the hotspot-specifying protein PRDM9, with the result that erosion of the hotspot is slowed. Thus, mouse tetrad analysis demonstrates how unique aspects of mammalian recombination mechanisms shape hotspot evolutionary dynamics.
Project description:Crossovers (COs) play a critical role in ensuring proper alignment and segregation of homologous chromosomes during meiosis. How the cell balances recombination between CO vs. noncrossover (NCO) outcomes is not completely understood. Further lacking is what constrains the extent of DNA repair such that multiple events do not arise from a single double-strand break (DSB). Here, by interpreting signatures that result from recombination genome-wide, we find that synaptonemal complex proteins promote crossing over in distinct ways. Our results suggest that Zip3 (RNF212) promotes biased cutting of the double Holliday-junction (dHJ) intermediate whereas surprisingly Msh4 does not. Moreover, detailed examination of conversion tracts in sgs1 and mms4-md mutants reveal distinct aberrant recombination events involving multiple chromatid invasions. In sgs1 mutants, these multiple invasions are generally multichromatid involving 3-4 chromatids; in mms4-md mutants the multiple invasions preferentially resolve into one or two chromatids. Our analysis suggests that Mus81/Mms4 (Eme1), rather than just being a minor resolvase for COs is crucial for both COs and NCOs in preventing chromosome entanglements by removing 3'- flaps to promote second-end capture. Together our results force a reevaluation of how key recombination enzymes collaborate to specify the outcome of meiotic DNA repair.
Project description:Hotspots of meiotic recombination can change rapidly over time. This instability and the reported high level of inter-individual variation in meiotic recombination puts in question the accuracy of the calculated hotspot map, which is based on the summation of past genetic crossovers. To estimate the accuracy of the computed recombination rate map, we have mapped genetic crossovers to a median resolution of 70 Kb in 10 CEPH pedigrees. We then compared the positions of crossovers with the hotspots computed from HapMap data and performed extensive computer simulations to compare the observed distributions of crossovers with the distributions expected from the calculated recombination rate maps. Here we show that a population-averaged hotspot map computed from linkage disequilibrium data predicts well present-day genetic crossovers. We find that computed hotspot maps accurately estimate both the strength and the position of meiotic hotspots. An in-depth examination of not-predicted crossovers shows that they are preferentially located in regions where hotspots are found in other populations. In summary, we find that by combining several computed population-specific maps we can capture the variation in individual hotspots to generate a hotspot map that can predict almost all present-day genetic crossovers.
Project description:In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and most other eukaryotes, mitotic recombination is important for the repair of double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs). Mitotic recombination between homologous chromosomes can result in loss of heterozygosity (LOH). In this study, LOH events induced by ultraviolet (UV) light are mapped throughout the genome to a resolution of about 1 kb using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarrays. UV doses that have little effect on the viability of diploid cells stimulate crossovers more than 1000-fold in wild-type cells. In addition, UV stimulates recombination in G1-synchronized cells about 10-fold more efficiently than in G2-synchronized cells. Importantly, at high doses of UV, most conversion events reflect the repair of two sister chromatids that are broken at approximately the same position whereas at low doses, most conversion events reflect the repair of a single broken chromatid. Genome-wide mapping of about 380 unselected crossovers, break-induced replication (BIR) events, and gene conversions shows that UV-induced recombination events occur throughout the genome without pronounced hotspots, although the ribosomal RNA gene cluster has a significantly lower frequency of crossovers.
Project description:Meiotic recombination has strong, but poorly understood effects on short tandem repeat (STR) instability. Here, we screened thousands of single recombinant products with sperm typing to characterize the role of polymorphic poly-A repeats at a human recombination hotspot in terms of hotspot activity and STR evolution. We show that the length asymmetry between heterozygous poly-A's strongly influences the recombination outcome: a heterology of 10 A's (9A/19A) reduces the number of crossovers and elevates the frequency of non-crossovers, complex recombination products, and long conversion tracts. Moreover, the length of the heterology also influences the STR transmission during meiotic repair with a strong and significant insertion bias for the short heterology (6A/7A) and a deletion bias for the long heterology (9A/19A). In spite of this opposing insertion-/deletion-biased gene conversion, we find that poly-A's are enriched at human recombination hotspots that could have important consequences in hotspot activation.
Project description:In most eukaryotes, meiotic crossovers are essential for error-free chromosome segregation but are specifically repressed near centromeres to prevent missegregation. Recognized for >85 years, the molecular mechanism of this repression has remained unknown. Meiotic chromosomes contain two distinct cohesin complexes: pericentric complex (for segregation) and chromosomal arm complex (for crossing over). We show that the pericentric-specific complex also actively represses pericentric meiotic double-strand break (DSB) formation and, consequently, crossovers. We uncover the mechanism by which fission yeast heterochromatin protein Swi6 (mammalian HP1-homolog) prevents recruitment of activators of meiotic DSB formation. Localizing missing activators to wild-type pericentromeres bypasses repression and generates abundant crossovers but reduces gamete viability. The molecular mechanism elucidated here likely extends to other species, including humans, where pericentric crossovers can result in disorders, such as Down syndrome. These mechanistic insights provide new clues to understand the roles played by multiple cohesin complexes, especially in human infertility and birth defects.