Recombination hotspot activity of hypervariable minisatellite DNA requires minisatellite DNA binding proteins

Somat Cell Mol Genet. 1998 Jan;24(1):41-51. doi: 10.1007/BF02677494.


Hypervariable minisatellite DNA repeats are found at tens of thousands of loci in the mammalian genome. These sequences stimulate homologous recombination in mammalian cells [Cell 60:95-103]. To test the hypothesis that protein-DNA interaction is required for hotspot function in vivo, we determined whether a second protein binding nearby could abolish hotspot activity. Intermolecular recombination between pairs of plasmid substrates was measured in the presence or absence of the cis-acting recombination hotspot and in the presence or absence of the second trans-acting DNA binding protein. Minisatellite DNA had hotspot activity in two cell lines, but lacked hotspot activity in two closely related cell lines expressing a site-specific helicase that bound to DNA adjacent to the hotspot. Suppression of hotspot function occurred for both replicating and non-replicating recombination substrates. These results indicate that hotspot activity in vivo requires site occupancy by minisatellite DNA binding proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor / genetics*
  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor / immunology
  • COS Cells
  • DNA, Satellite / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Simian virus 40 / immunology


  • Antigens, Viral, Tumor
  • DNA, Satellite
  • DNA-Binding Proteins