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, 14 (5), 510-7

Increased Chromosome Mobility Facilitates Homology Search During Recombination


Increased Chromosome Mobility Facilitates Homology Search During Recombination

Judith Miné-Hattab et al. Nat Cell Biol.


Homologous recombination, an essential process for preserving genomic integrity, uses intact homologous sequences to repair broken chromosomes. To explore the mechanism of homologous pairing in vivo, we tagged two homologous loci in diploid yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells and investigated their dynamic organization in the absence and presence of DNA damage. When neither locus is damaged, homologous loci occupy largely separate regions, exploring only 2.7% of the nuclear volume. Following the induction of a double-strand break, homologous loci co-localize ten times more often. The mobility of the cut chromosome markedly increases, allowing it to explore a nuclear volume that is more than ten times larger. Interestingly, the mobility of uncut chromosomes also increases, allowing them to explore a four times larger volume. We propose a model for homology search in which increased chromosome mobility facilitates homologous pairing. Finally, we find that the increase in DNA dynamics is dependent on early steps of homologous recombination.

Comment in

  • DNA Breakage Drives Nuclear Search
    G Ira et al. Nat Cell Biol 14 (5), 448-50. PMID 22552144.
    The search for a homologous template is a fundamental, yet largely uncharacterized, reaction in DNA double-strand break repair. Two reports now demonstrate that broken ch …

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