Small Rad51 and Dmc1 Complexes Often Co-occupy Both Ends of a Meiotic DNA Double Strand Break

The Eukaryotic RecA-like proteins Rad51 and Dmc1 cooperate during meiosis to promote recombination between homologous chromosomes by repairing programmed DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). Previous studies showed that Rad51 and Dmc1 form partially overlapping co-foci. Here we show these Rad51-Dmc1 co-foci are often arranged in pairs separated by distances of up to 400 nm. Paired co-foci remain prevalent when DSBs are dramatically reduced or when strand exchange or synapsis is blocked. Super-resolution dSTORM microscopy reveals that individual foci observed by conventional light microscopy are often composed of two or more substructures. The data support a model in which the two tracts of ssDNA formed by a single DSB separate from one another by distances of up to 400 nm, with both tracts often bound by one or more short (about 100 nt) Rad51 filaments and also by one or more short Dmc1 filaments.

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PMID: 26719980