The role of Holliday junction resolvases in the repair of spontaneous and induced DNA damage

Neta Agmon, Moran Yovel, Yaniv Harari, Batia Liefshitz, Martin Kupiec*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and other lesions occur frequently during cell growth and in meiosis. These are often repaired by homologous recombination (HR). HR may result in the formation of DNA structures called Holliday junctions (HJs), which need to be resolved to allow chromosome segregation. Whereas HJs are present in most HR events in meiosis, it has been proposed that in vegetative cells most HR events occur through intermediates lacking HJs. A recent screen in yeast has shown HJ resolution activity for a protein called Yen1, in addition to the previously known Mus81/Mms4 complex. Yeast strains deleted for both YEN1 and MMS4 show a reduction in growth rate, and are very sensitive to DNA-damaging agents. In addition, we investigate the genetic interaction of yen1 and mms4 with mutants defective in different repair pathways. We find that in the absence of Yen1 and Mms4 deletion of RAD1 or RAD52 have no further effect, whereas additional sensitivity is seen if RAD51 is deleted. Finally, we show that yeast cells are unable to carry out meiosis in the absence of both resolvases. Our results show that both Yen1 and Mms4/Mus81 play important (although not identical) roles during vegetative growth and in meiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7009-7019
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Sep 2011


FundersFunder number
Israel Cancer Research Foundation
Israeli Ministry of Science
Association for International Cancer Research


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