Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Recombinational repair is the means by which DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are repaired in yeast. DNA divergence between chromosomes was shown previously to inhibit repair in diploid G1 cells, resulting in chromosome loss at low nonlethal doses of ionizing radiation. Furthermore, 15–20% divergence prevents meiotic recombination between individual pairs of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. carlsbergensis chromosomes in an otherwise S. cerevisiae background. Based on analysis of the efficiency of DSB-induced chromosome loss and direct genetic detection of intragenic recombination, we conclude that limited DSB recombinational repair can occur between homoeologous chromosomes. There is no difference in loss between a repair-proficient Pms+ strain and a mismatch repair mutant, pms1. Since DSB recombinational repair is tolerant of diverged DNAs, this type of repair could lead to novel genes and altered chromosomes. The sensitivity to DSB-induced loss of 11 individual yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) containing mouse or human (chromosome 21 or HeLa) DNA was determined. Recombinational repair between a pair of homologous HeLa YACs appears as efficient as that between homologous yeast chromosomes in that there is no loss at low radiation doses. Single YACs exhibited considerable variation in response, although the response for individual YACs was highly reproducible. Based on the results with the yeast homoeologous chromosomes, we propose that the potential exists for intra- YAC recombinational repair between diverged repeat DNA and that the extent of repair is dependent upon the amount of repeat DNA and the degree of divergence. The sensitivity of YACs containing mammalian DNA to ionizing radiation-induced loss may thus be an indicator of the extent of repeat DNA.
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