Novel mechanistic insights into the role of Mer2 as the keystone of meiotic DNA break formation

Dorota Rousova, Vaishnavi Nivsarkar, Veronika Altmannova, Vivek B. Raina, Saskia K. Funk, David Liedtke, Petra Janning, Franziska Müller, Heidi Reichle, Gerben Vader, John R. Weir

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11 Citations (Scopus)


In meiosis, DNA double strand break (DSB) formation by Spo11 initiates recombination and enables chromosome segregation. Numerous factors are required for Spo11 activity, and couple the DSB machinery to the development of a meiosis-specific “axis-tethered loop” chromosome organization. Through in vitro reconstitution and budding yeast genetics we here provide architectural insight into the DSB machinery by focussing on a foundational DSB factor, Mer2. We characterise the interaction of Mer2 with the histone reader Spp1, and show that Mer2 directly associates to nucleosomes, likely highlighting a contribution of Mer2 to tethering DSB factors to chromatin. We reveal the biochemical basis of Mer2 association with Hop1, a HORMA domain-containing chromosomal axis factor. Finally, we identify a conserved region within Mer2 crucial for DSB activity, and show that this region of Mer2 interacts with the DSB factor Mre11. In combination with previous work, we establish Mer2 as a keystone of the DSB machinery by bridging key protein complexes involved in the initiation of meiotic recombination.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere72330
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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