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Connecting by breaking and repairing: mechanisms of DNA strand exchange in meiotic recombination
- Sansam, Christopher L., Pezza, Roberto J.
- The FEBS journal 2015 v.282 no.13 pp. 2431-2444
- DNA, chiasmata, chromosome segregation, meiosis, mutation, prophase
- During prophase of meiosis I, homologous chromosomes interact and undergo recombination. Successful completion of these processes is required in order for the homologous chromosomes to mount the meiotic spindle as a pair. The organization of the chromosomes into pairs ensures orderly segregation to opposite poles of the dividing cell, such that each gamete receives one copy of each chromosome. Chiasmata, the cytological manifestation of crossover products of recombination, physically connect the homologs in pairs, providing a linkage that facilitates their segregation. Consequently, mutations that reduce the level of recombination are invariably associated with increased errors in meiotic chromosome segregation. In this review, we focus on recent biochemical and genetic advances in elucidating the mechanisms of meiotic DNA strand exchange catalyzed by the Dmc1 protein. We also discuss the mode by which two recombination mediators, Hop2 and Mnd1, facilitate rate‐limiting steps of DNA strand exchange catalyzed by Dmc1.