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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Competitive inactivation of a double-strand DNA break site involves parallel suppression of meiosis-induced changes in chromatin configuration.

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) initiate meiotic recombination at open sites in chromatin, which display a meiosis-specific increase in micrococcal nuclease (MNase) sensitivity. The arg4 promoter contains such a DSB site. When arg4 sequences are placed in a pBR322-derived insert at HIS4 (his4 :: arg4 ), the presence of strong DSB sites in pBR322 sequences leads to an almost complete loss of breaks from the insert-borne arg4 promoter region. Most of the MNase-sensitive sites occurred at similar positions in insert-borne and in normal ARG4 sequences, indicating that hotspot inactivation is not a consequence of changes in nucleosome positioning. However, a meiosis-specific increase in MNase hypersensitivity was no longer detected at the inactive insert-borne arg4 DSB site. Elimination of pBR322 sequences restored DSBs to the insert-borne arg4 promoter region and also restored the meiotic induction of MNase hypersensitivity. Thus, the meiotic induction of MNase hypersensitivity at the DSB sites is suppressed and activated in parallel to DSBs themselves, without changes in the underlying DNA sequence or nucleosome positioning. We suggest that meiosis-specific changes in chromatin at a DSB site are a signal reflecting a pivotal step in DSB formation.[1]


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