The compact chromatin structure of a Ty repeated sequence suppresses recombination hotspot activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Shay Ben-Aroya, Piotr A. Mieczkowski, Thomas D. Petes, Martin Kupiec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recombination between repeated DNA sequences can have drastic consequences on the integrity of the genome. Repeated sequences are abundant in most eukaryotes, yet the mechanism that prevents recombination between them is currently unknown. Ty elements, the main family of dispersed repeats in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, exhibit low levels of exchange. Other regions in the genome have relatively high rates of meiotic recombination (hotspots). We show that a Ty element adjacent to the HIS4 recombination hotspot substantially reduces its activity, eliminating local DSB formation. We demonstrate that the Ty has a closed (nuclease-insensitive) chromatin configuration that is also imposed on the flanking DNA sequences. The compact chromatin structure is determined by sequences at the N terminus of the Ty. Increased binding of the Rap1 protein to the hotspot restores both open chromatin conformation and DSB formation. The chromatin configuration of Ty elements precludes initiation of recombination, thus preventing potentially lethal exchanges between repeated sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cell
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Carol Wu and Michael Lichten for advice on DNase I assays. We thank all members of the Kupiec lab for encouragement and support, and Yael Aylon for critical comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by a grant to M.K. and T.P. by the USA-Israel Bi-national Fund, by a grant to M.K. from the Israel Science Foundaton, and by an NIH grant to T.P. (GM24110). S.B.-A. was supported by travel grants from the Constantiner Institute for Molecular Genetics.

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