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Replication slippage between distant short repeats in Saccharomyces cerevisiae depends on the direction of replication and the RAD50 and RAD52 genes

, : Replication slippage between distant short repeats in Saccharomyces cerevisiae depends on the direction of replication and the RAD50 and RAD52 genes. Molecular and Cellular Biology 15(10): 5607-5617

Small direct repeats, which are frequent in all genomes, are a potential source of genome instability. To study the occurrence and genetic control of repeat-associated deletions, we developed a system in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that was based on small direct repeats separated by either random sequences or inverted repeats. Deletions were examined in the LYS2 gene, using a set of 31- to 156-bp inserts that included inserts with no apparent potential for secondary structure as well as two quasipalindromes. All inserts were flanked by 6- to 9-bp direct repeats of LYS2 sequence, providing an opportunity for Lys+ reversion via precise excision. Reversions could arise by extended deletions involving either direct repeats or random sequences and by -1 or +2-bp frameshift mutations. The deletion breakpoints were always associated with short (3- to 9-bp) perfect or imperfect direct repeats. Compared with the POL+ strain, deletions between small direct repeats were increased as much as 100-fold, and the spectrum was changed in a temperature-sensitive DNA polymerase delta pol3-t mutant, suggesting a role for replication. The type of deletion depended on orientation relative to the origin of replication. On the basis of these results, we propose (i) that extended deletions between small repeats arise by replication slippage and (ii) that the deletions occur primarily in either the leading or lagging strand. The RAD50 and RAD52 genes, which are required for the recombinational repair of many kinds of DNA double-strand breaks, appeared to be required also for the production of up to 90% of the deletions arising between separated repeats in the pol3-t mutant, suggesting a newly identified role for these genes in genome stability and possibly replication.


PMID: 7565712

DOI: 10.1128/mcb.15.10.5607

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