Genome destabilization by homologous recombination in the germ line

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Mar;11(3):182-95. doi: 10.1038/nrm2849. Epub 2010 Feb 18.


Meiotic recombination, which promotes proper homologous chromosome segregation at the first meiotic division, normally occurs between allelic sequences on homologues. However, recombination can also take place between non-allelic DNA segments that share high sequence identity. Such non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) can markedly alter genome architecture during gametogenesis by generating chromosomal rearrangements. Indeed, NAHR-mediated deletions, duplications, inversions and other alterations have been implicated in numerous human genetic disorders. Studies in yeast have provided insights into the molecular mechanisms of meiotic NAHR as well as the cellular strategies that limit it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • DNA Repair
  • Genomic Instability*
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Meiosis / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*