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

The budding yeast Msh4 protein functions in chromosome synapsis and the regulation of crossover distribution.

The budding yeast MSH4 gene encodes a MutS homolog produced specifically in meiotic cells. Msh4 is not required for meiotic mismatch repair or gene conversion, but it is required for wild-type levels of crossing over. Here, we show that a msh4 null mutation substantially decreases crossover interference. With respect to the defect in interference and the level of crossing over, msh4 is similar to the zip1 mutant, which lacks a structural component of the synaptonemal complex (SC). Furthermore, epistasis tests indicate that msh4 and zip1 affect the same subset of meiotic crossovers. In the msh4 mutant, SC formation is delayed compared to wild type, and full synapsis is achieved in only about half of all nuclei. The simultaneous defects in synapsis and interference observed in msh4 (and also zip1 and ndj1/tam1) suggest a role for the SC in mediating interference. The Msh4 protein localizes to discrete foci on meiotic chromosomes and colocalizes with Zip2, a protein involved in the initiation of chromosome synapsis. Both Zip2 and Zip1 are required for the normal localization of Msh4 to chromosomes, raising the possibility that the zip1 and zip2 defects in crossing over are indirect, resulting from the failure to localize Msh4 properly.[1]


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