RAD5A, RECQ4A, and MUS81 have specific functions in homologous recombination and define different pathways of DNA repair in Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant Cell. 2010 Oct;22(10):3318-30. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.078568. Epub 2010 Oct 22.


Complex DNA structures, such as double Holliday junctions and stalled replication forks, arise during DNA replication and DNA repair. Factors processing these intermediates include the endonuclease MUS81, helicases of the RecQ family, and the yeast SNF2 ATPase RAD5 and its Arabidopsis thaliana homolog RAD5A. By testing sensitivity of mutant plants to DNA-damaging agents, we defined the roles of these factors in Arabidopsis. rad5A recq4A and rad5A mus81 double mutants are more sensitive to cross-linking and methylating agents, showing that RAD5A is required for damage-induced DNA repair, independent of MUS81 and RECQ4A. The lethality of the recq4A mus81 double mutant indicates that MUS81 and RECQ4A also define parallel DNA repair pathways. The recq4A/mus81 lethality is suppressed by blocking homologous recombination (HR) through disruption of RAD51C, showing that RECQ4A and MUS81 are required for processing recombination-induced aberrant intermediates during replication. Thus, plants possess at least three different pathways to process DNA repair intermediates. We also examined HR-mediated double-strand break (DSB) repair using recombination substrates with inducible site-specific DSBs: MUS81 and RECQ4A are required for efficient synthesis-dependent strand annealing (SDSA) but only to a small extent for single-strand annealing (SSA). Interestingly, RAD5A plays a significant role in SDSA but not in SSA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • DNA Helicases / genetics
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Endonucleases / genetics
  • Endonucleases / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Recombination, Genetic*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Plant
  • Endonucleases
  • MUS81 protein, Arabidopsis
  • DNA Helicases
  • RecQ4A protein, Arabidopsis

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB177892
  • GENBANK/AJ404473
  • RefSeq/NM_122181