3 years ago

The Role of Blm Helicase in Homologous Recombination, Gene Conversion Tract Length, and Recombination Between Diverged Sequences in Drosophila.

DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are a particularly deleterious class of DNA damage that threatens genome integrity. DSBs are repaired by three pathways: non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), homologous recombination (HR), and single-strand annealing (SSA). Drosophila melanogaster Blm (DmBlm) is the ortholog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae SGS1 and human BLM, and has been shown to suppress crossovers in mitotic cells and repair mitotic DNA gaps via HR. To further elucidate the role of DmBlm in repair of a simple DSB, and in particular recombination mechanisms, we utilized the DR-white and DR-white.mu repair assays in multiple mutant allele backgrounds. DmBlm null and helicase-dead mutants both demonstrated a decrease in repair by noncrossover HR, and a concurrent increase in non-HR events, possibly including SSA, crossovers, deletions, and NHEJ, although detectable processing of the ends was not significantly impacted. Interestingly, gene conversion tract lengths of HR repair events were substantially shorter in DmBlm null but not helicase-dead mutants, compared to heterozygote controls. Using DR-white.mu, we found that, in contrast to Sgs1, DmBlm is not required for suppression of recombination between diverged sequences. Taken together, our data suggest that DmBlm helicase function plays a role in HR, and the steps that contribute to determining gene conversion tract length are helicase-independent.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1534/genetics.117.300285

DOI: 10.1534/genetics.117.300285

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