The DNA repair genes SGS1 and MUS81 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are thought to control alternative pathways for the repair of toxic recombination intermediates based on the fact that sgs1Δ mus81Δ synthetic lethality is suppressed in the absence of homologous recombination (HR). Although these genes appear to functionally overlap in yeast and other model systems, the specific pathways controlled by SGS1 and MUS81 are poorly defined. Epistasis analyses based on DNA damage sensitivity previously indicated that SGS1 functioned primarily downstream of RAD51, and that MUS81 was independent of RAD51. To further define these genetic pathways, we carried out a systematic epistasis analysis between the RAD52-epistasis group genes and SGS1, MUS81, and RNH202, which encodes a subunit of RNase H2. Based on synthetic-fitness interactions and DNA damage sensitivities, we find that RAD52 is epistatic to MUS81 but not SGS1. In contrast, RAD54, RAD55 and RAD57 are epistatic to SGS1, MUS81 and RNH202. As expected, SHU2 is epistatic to SGS1, while both SHU1 and SHU2 are epistatic to MUS81. Importantly, loss of any RNase H2 subunit on its own resulted in increased recombination using a simple marker-excision assay. RNase H2 is thus needed to maintain genome stability consistent with the sgs1Δ rnh202Δ synthetic fitness defect. We conclude that SGS1 and MUS81 act in parallel pathways downstream of RAD51 and RAD52, respectively. The data further indicate these pathways share common components and display complex interactions.
Published by Elsevier B.V.