In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the MSH5 gene encoding a MutS homolog was identified as a gene required for meiotic crossing over. To understand the role of MSH5 in higher eukaryotes, we have identified both the human and the Caenorhabditis elegans MSH5 genes. The human and C. elegans MSH5 predicted amino acid sequences share, respectively, 25.3 and 22.0% identity with the S. cerevisiae MSH5 amino acid sequence. The human MSH5 gene consists of 25 exons and spans at least 12 kb of genomic DNA, while the C. elegans gene comprises 17 exons distributed over at least 5.8 kb. Radiation hybrid mapping studies indicate that the human gene is located at 6p22.3-p21.3. Northern blot analysis demonstrates that human MSH5 is expressed to some extent in all tissues, but that particularly high levels of expression occur in testis, thymus, and other tissues of the immune system. Two-hybrid interaction analysis demonstrates that the human MSH4 and MSH5 proteins interact as observed for S. cerevisiae MSH4 and MSH5.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.