Contrasting roles of checkpoint proteins as recombination modulators at Fob1-Ter complexes with or without fork arrest

Eukaryot Cell. 2009 Apr;8(4):487-95. doi: 10.1128/EC.00382-08. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


The replication terminator protein Fob1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae specifically interacts with two tandem Ter sites (replication fork barriers) located in the nontranscribed spacer of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) to cause polar fork arrest. The Fob1-Ter complex is multifunctional and controls other DNA transactions such as recombination by multiple mechanisms. Here, we report on the regulatory roles of the checkpoint proteins in the initiation and progression of recombination at Fob1-Ter complexes. The checkpoint adapter proteins Tof1 and Csm3 either positively or negatively controlled recombination depending on whether it was provoked by polar fork arrest or by transcription, respectively. The absolute requirements for these proteins for inducing recombination at an active replication terminus most likely masked their negative modulatory role at a later step of the process. Other checkpoint proteins of the checkpoint adapter/mediator class such as Mrc1 and Rad9, which channel signals from the sensor to the effector kinase, tended to suppress recombination at Fob1-Ter complexes regardless of how it was initiated. We have also discovered that the checkpoint sensor kinase Mec1 and the effector Rad53 were positive modulators of recombination initiated by transcription but had little effect on recombination at Ter. The work also showed that the two pathways were Rad52 dependent but Rad51 independent. Since Ter sites occur in the intergenic spacer of rDNA from yeast to humans, the mechanism is likely to be of widespread occurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • FOB1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins