How RNA transcripts coordinate DNA recombination and repair

Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 15;9(1):1091. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03483-7.


Genetic studies in yeast indicate that RNA transcripts facilitate homology-directed DNA repair in a manner that is dependent on RAD52. The molecular basis for so-called RNA-DNA repair, however, remains unknown. Using reconstitution assays, we demonstrate that RAD52 directly cooperates with RNA as a sequence-directed ribonucleoprotein complex to promote two related modes of RNA-DNA repair. In a RNA-bridging mechanism, RAD52 assembles recombinant RNA-DNA hybrids that coordinate synapsis and ligation of homologous DNA breaks. In an RNA-templated mechanism, RAD52-mediated RNA-DNA hybrids enable reverse transcription-dependent RNA-to-DNA sequence transfer at DNA breaks that licenses subsequent DNA recombination. Notably, we show that both mechanisms of RNA-DNA repair are promoted by transcription of a homologous DNA template in trans. In summary, these data elucidate how RNA transcripts cooperate with RAD52 to coordinate homology-directed DNA recombination and repair in the absence of a DNA donor, and demonstrate a direct role for transcription in RNA-DNA repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • DNA Repair / physiology
  • RNA / genetics
  • Rad52 DNA Repair and Recombination Protein / genetics
  • Rad52 DNA Repair and Recombination Protein / metabolism*
  • Recombinational DNA Repair / genetics
  • Recombinational DNA Repair / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism


  • RNA, recombinant
  • Rad52 DNA Repair and Recombination Protein
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • RNA