Homologous recombination among repetitive sequences is an important mode of DNA repair in eukaryotes following acute radiation exposure. We have developed an assay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that models how multiple DNA double-strand breaks form chromosomal translocations by a nonconservative homologous recombination mechanism, single-strand annealing, and identified the Rad52 paralog, Rad59, as an important factor. We show through genetic and molecular analyses that Rad59 possesses distinct Rad52-dependent and -independent functions, and that Rad59 plays a critical role in the localization of Rad52 to double-strand breaks. Our analysis further suggests that Rad52 and Rad59 act in multiple, sequential processes that determine genome structure following acute exposure to DNA damaging agents.
Keywords: Chromosomal translocations; DNA double-strand breaks; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; homologous recombination; single-strand annealing.