RecA homologs Dmc1 and Rad51 interact to form multiple nuclear complexes prior to meiotic chromosome synapsis

Cell. 1994 Dec 16;79(6):1081-92. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90038-8.


Dmc1 and Rad51, yeast homologs of the E. coli RecA protein, are shown by immunostaining to localize to as many as 64 sites within spread meiotic nuclei. Genetic requirements for this punctate pattern suggest it represents recombination intermediates. Dmc1 and Rad51 colocalize and are therefore likely to act together during recombination. Despite their similarities, the two proteins have specialized functions: Dmc1 complexes do not form in rad51 mutants, while Rad51 complexes are retained indefinitely in dmc1 mutants. Dmc1 and, by inference, Rad51 form complexes before synapsis as monitored by immunostaining for Zip1 protein. Analysis of zip1 mutants shows that Zip1 promotes dissociation of Dmc1 complexes. Colocalization of Dmc1 and Zip1 raises the possibility that Dmc1 and Rad51 are components of recombination nodules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / metabolism
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / ultrastructure
  • Crossing Over, Genetic
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / isolation & purification
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Epitopes
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunochemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Rad51 Recombinase
  • Rec A Recombinases / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombination, Genetic / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Spores, Fungal / genetics
  • Synaptonemal Complex / physiology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DMC1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Epitopes
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Zip1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • RAD51 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Rad51 Recombinase
  • Rec A Recombinases