Sgs1 Binding to Rad51 Stimulates Homology-Directed DNA Repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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SGS1, RAD51, Homologous Recombination, DNA Damage, DNA Repair

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Accurate repair of DNA breaks is essential to maintain genome integrity and cellular fitness. Sgs1, the sole member of the RecQ family of DNA helicases in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is important for both early and late stages of homology-dependent repair. Its large number of physical and genetic interactions with DNA recombination, repair, and replication factors has established Sgs1 as a key player in the maintenance of genome integrity. To determine the significance of Sgs1 binding to the strand-exchange factor Rad51, we have identified a single amino acid change at the C-terminal of the helicase core of Sgs1 that disrupts Rad51 binding. In contrast to an SGS1 deletion or a helicase-defective sgs1 allele, this new separation-of-function allele, sgs1-FD, does not cause DNA damage hypersensitivity or genome instability, but exhibits negative and positive genetic interactions with sae2Δ, mre11Δ, exo1Δ, srs2Δ, rrm3Δ, and pol32Δ that are distinct from those of known sgs1 mutants. Our findings suggest that the Sgs1-Rad51 interaction stimulates homologous recombination (HR). However, unlike sgs1 mutations, which impair the resection of DNA double-strand ends, negative genetic interactions of the sgs1-FD allele are not suppressed by YKU70 deletion. We propose that the Sgs1-Rad51 interaction stimulates HR by facilitating the formation of the presynaptic Rad51 filament, possibly by Sgs1 competing with single-stranded DNA for replication protein A binding during resection.

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Genetics, v. 208, issue 1, p. 125-138