Homologous recombination (HR) is an error-free DNA repair mechanism that maintains genome integrity by repairing double-strand breaks (DSBs). Defects in HR lead to genomic instability and are associated with cancer predisposition. A key step in HR is the formation of Rad51 nucleoprotein filaments which are responsible for the homology search and strand invasion steps that define HR. Recently, the budding yeast Shu complex has emerged as an important regulator of Rad51 along with the other Rad51 mediators including Rad52 and the Rad51 paralogs, Rad55-Rad57. The Shu complex is a heterotetramer consisting of two novel Rad51 paralogs, Psy3 and Csm2, along with Shu1 and a SWIM domain-containing protein, Shu2. Studies done primarily in yeast have provided evidence that the Shu complex regulates HR at several types of DNA DSBs (i.e. replication-associated and meiotic DSBs) and that its role in HR is highly conserved across eukaryotic lineages. This review highlights the main findings of these studies and discusses the proposed specific roles of the Shu complex in many aspects of recombination-mediated DNA repair.
Keywords: Rad51 paralogs, Rad51; Shu complex; Sws1; homologous recombination.
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