A central coupler for recombination initiation linking chromosome architecture to S phase checkpoint

Mol Cell. 2012 Sep 14;47(5):722-33. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.06.023. Epub 2012 Jul 26.


Higher-order chromosome structure is assumed to control various DNA-templated reactions in eukaryotes. Meiotic chromosomes implement developed structures called "axes" and "loops"; both are suggested to tether each other, activating Spo11 to catalyze meiotic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) at recombination hotspots. We found that the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Spo11 homolog Rec12 and its partners form two distinct subcomplexes, DSBC (Rec6-Rec12-Rec14) and SFT (Rec7-Rec15-Rec24). Mde2, whose expression is strictly regulated by the replication checkpoint, interacts with Rec15 to stabilize the SFT subcomplex and further binds Rec14 in DSBC. Rec10 provides a docking platform for SFT binding to axes and can partially interact with DSB sites located in loops depending upon Mde2, which is indicative of the formation of multiprotein-based tethered axis-loop complex. These data lead us to propose a mechanism by which Mde2 functions as a recombination initiation mediator to tether axes and loops, in liaison with the meiotic replication checkpoint.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes / metabolism*
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • S Phase*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • mde2 protein, S. pombe
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases
  • meiotic recombination protein SPO11

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE31846