Börner VG, Kleckner N, Hunter N. Crossover/noncrossover differentiation, synaptonemal complex formation, and regulatory surveillance at the leptotene/zygotene transition of meiosis. Cell. 2004;117 (1) :29-45.Abstract
Yeast mutants lacking meiotic proteins Zip1, Zip2, Zip3, Mer3, and/or Msh5 (ZMMs) were analyzed for recombination, synaptonemal complex (SC), and meiotic progression. At 33 degrees C, recombination-initiating double-strand breaks (DSBs) and noncrossover products (NCRs) form normally while formation of single-end invasion strand exchange intermediates (SEIs), double Holliday junctions, crossover products (CRs), and SC are coordinately defective. Thus, during wild-type meiosis, recombinational interactions are differentiated into CR and NCR types very early, prior to onset of stable strand exchange and independent of SC. By implication, crossover interference does not require SC formation. We suggest that SC formation may require interference. Subsequently, CR-designated DSBs undergo a tightly coupled, ZMM-promoted transition that yields SEI-containing recombination complexes embedded in patches of SC. zmm mutant phenotypes differ strikingly at 33 degrees C and 23 degrees C, implicating higher temperature as a positive effector of recombination and identifying a checkpoint that monitors local CR-specific events, not SC formation, at late leptotene.
Kleckner N, Zickler D, Jones GH, Dekker J, Padmore R, Henle J, Hutchinson J. A mechanical basis for chromosome function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004;101 (34) :12592-7.Abstract
We propose that chromosome function is governed by internal mechanical forces generated by programmed tendencies for expansion of the DNA/chromatin fiber against constraining features.
Perry J, Kleckner N. The ATRs, ATMs, and TORs are giant HEAT repeat proteins. Cell. 2003;112 (2) :151-5.
Kleckner N, Storlazzi A, Zickler D. Coordinate variation in meiotic pachytene SC length and total crossover/chiasma frequency under conditions of constant DNA length. Trends Genet. 2003;19 (11) :623-8.
Nilssen EA, Synnes M, Kleckner N, Grallert B, Boye E. Intra-G1 arrest in response to UV irradiation in fission yeast. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003;100 (19) :10758-63.Abstract
G1 is a crucial phase of cell growth because the decision to begin another mitotic cycle is made during this period. Occurrence of DNA damage in G1 poses a particular challenge, because replication of damaged DNA can be deleterious and because no sister chromatid is present to provide a template for recombinational repair. We therefore have studied the response of Schizosaccharomyces pombe cells to UV irradiation in early G1 phase. We find that irradiation results in delayed progression through G1, as manifested most critically in the delayed formation of the pre-replication complex. This delay does not have the molecular hallmarks of known checkpoint responses: it is independent of the checkpoint proteins Rad3, Cds1, and Chk1 and does not elicit inhibitory phosphorylation of Cdc2. Irradiated cells eventually progress into S phase and arrest in early S by a rad3- and cds1-dependent mechanism, most likely the intra-S checkpoint. Caffeine alleviates both the intra-G1- and intra-S-phase delays. We suggest that intra-G1 delay may be widely conserved and discuss significance and possible mechanisms.
Tessé S, Storlazzi A, Kleckner N, Gargano S, Zickler D. Localization and roles of Ski8p protein in Sordaria meiosis and delineation of three mechanistically distinct steps of meiotic homolog juxtaposition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003;100 (22) :12865-70.Abstract
Ski8p is implicated in degradation of non-poly(A) and double-stranded RNA, and in meiotic DNA recombination. We have identified the Sordaria macrospora SKI8 gene. Ski8p is cytoplasmically localized in all vegetative and sexual cycle cells, and is nuclear localized, specifically in early-mid-meiotic prophase, in temporal correlation with Spo11p, the meiotic double-strand break (DSB) transesterase. Localizations of Ski8p and Spo11p are mutually interdependent. ski8 mutants exhibit defects in vegetative growth, entry into the sexual program, and sporulation. Diverse meiotic defects, also seen in spo11 mutants, are diagnostic of DSB absence, and they are restored by exogenous DSBs. These results suggest that Ski8p promotes meiotic DSB formation by acting directly within meiotic prophase chromosomes. Mutant phenotypes also divide meiotic homolog juxtaposition into three successive, mechanistically distinct steps; recognition, presynaptic alignment, and synapsis, which are distinguished by their differential dependence on DSBs.
Storlazzi A, Tessé S, Gargano S, James F, Kleckner N, Zickler D. Meiotic double-strand breaks at the interface of chromosome movement, chromosome remodeling, and reductional division. Genes Dev. 2003;17 (21) :2675-87.Abstract
Chromosomal processes related to formation and function of meiotic chiasmata have been analyzed in Sordaria macrospora. Double-strand breaks (DSBs), programmed or gamma-rays-induced, are found to promote four major events beyond recombination and accompanying synaptonemal complex formation: (1) juxtaposition of homologs from long-distance interactions to close presynaptic coalignment at midleptotene; (2) structural destabilization of chromosomes at leptotene/zygotene, including sister axis separation and fracturing, as revealed in a mutant altered in the conserved, axis-associated cohesin-related protein Spo76/Pds5p; (3) exit from the bouquet stage, with accompanying global chromosome movements, at zygotene/pachytene (bouquet stage exit is further found to be a cell-wide regulatory transition and DSB transesterase Spo11p is suggested to have a new noncatalytic role in this transition); (4) normal occurrence of both meiotic divisions, including normal sister separation. Functional interactions between DSBs and the spo76-1 mutation suggest that Spo76/Pds5p opposes local destabilization of axes at developing chiasma sites and raise the possibility of a regulatory mechanism that directly monitors the presence of chiasmata at metaphase I. Local chromosome remodeling at DSB sites appears to trigger an entire cascade of chromosome movements, morphogenetic changes, and regulatory effects that are superimposed upon a foundation of DSB-independent processes.
Cha RS, Kleckner N. ATR homolog Mec1 promotes fork progression, thus averting breaks in replication slow zones. Science. 2002;297 (5581) :602-6.Abstract
Budding yeast Mec1, homolog of mammalian ATR, is an essential protein that mediates S-phase checkpoint responses and meiotic recombination. Elimination of Mec1 function leads to genomewide fork stalling followed by chromosome breakage. Breaks do not result from stochastic collapse of stalled forks or other incidental lesions; instead, they occur in specific regions of the genome during a G2 chromosomal transition. Break regions are found to be genetically encoded replication slow zones (RSZs), a newly discovered yeast chromosomal determinant. Thus, Mec1 has important functions in normal S phase and the genome instability of mec1 (and, analogously, ATR-/-) mutants stems from defects in these basic roles.
Dekker J, Rippe K, Dekker M, Kleckner N. Capturing chromosome conformation. Science. 2002;295 (5558) :1306-11.Abstract
We describe an approach to detect the frequency of interaction between any two genomic loci. Generation of a matrix of interaction frequencies between sites on the same or different chromosomes reveals their relative spatial disposition and provides information about the physical properties of the chromatin fiber. This methodology can be applied to the spatial organization of entire genomes in organisms from bacteria to human. Using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we could confirm known qualitative features of chromosome organization within the nucleus and dynamic changes in that organization during meiosis. We also analyzed yeast chromosome III at the G1 stage of the cell cycle. We found that chromatin is highly flexible throughout. Furthermore, functionally distinct AT- and GC-rich domains were found to exhibit different conformations, and a population-average 3D model of chromosome III could be determined. Chromosome III emerges as a contorted ring.
Blat Y, Protacio RU, Hunter N, Kleckner N. Physical and functional interactions among basic chromosome organizational features govern early steps of meiotic chiasma formation. Cell. 2002;111 (6) :791-802.Abstract
Analysis of meiotic recombination by functional genomic approaches reveals prominent spatial and functional interactions among diverse organizational determinants. Recombination occurs between chromatin loop sequences; however, these sequences are spatially tethered to underlying chromosome axes via their recombinosomes. Meiotic chromosomal protein, Red1, localizes to chromosome axes; however, Red1 loading is modulated by R/G-bands isochores and thus by bulk chromatin state. Recombination is also modulated by isochore determinants: R-bands differentially favor double-strand break (DSB) formation but disfavor subsequent loading of meiotic RecA homolog, Dmc1. Red1 promotes DSB formation in both R- and G-bands and then promotes Dmc1 loading, specifically counteracting disfavoring R-band effects. These complexities are discussed in the context of chiasma formation as a series of coordinated local changes at the DNA and chromosome-axis levels.
Bachant J, Alcasabas A, Blat Y, Kleckner N, Elledge SJ. The SUMO-1 isopeptidase Smt4 is linked to centromeric cohesion through SUMO-1 modification of DNA topoisomerase II. Mol Cell. 2002;9 (6) :1169-82.Abstract
In S. cerevisiae, posttranslational modification by the ubiquitin-like Smt3/SUMO-1 protein is essential for survival, but functions and cellular targets for this modification are largely unknown. We find that one function associated with the Smt3/SUMO-1 isopeptidase Smt4 is to control chromosome cohesion at centromeric regions and that a key Smt3/SUMO-1 substrate underlying this function is Top2, DNA Topoisomerase II. Top2 modification by Smt3/SUMO-1 is misregulated in smt4 strains, and top2 mutants resistant to Smt3/SUMO-1 modification suppress the smt4 cohesion defect. top2 mutants display aberrant chromatid stretching at the centromere in response to mitotic spindle tension and altered chromatid reassociation following microtubule depolymerization. These results suggest Top2 modification by Smt3/SUMO-1 regulates a component of chromatin structure or topology required for centromeric cohesion.
Hunter N, Börner GV, Lichten M, Kleckner N. Gamma-H2AX illuminates meiosis. Nat Genet. 2001;27 (3) :236-8.
Hunter N, Kleckner N. The single-end invasion: an asymmetric intermediate at the double-strand break to double-holliday junction transition of meiotic recombination. Cell. 2001;106 (1) :59-70.Abstract
We identify a novel meiotic recombination intermediate, the single-end invasion (SEI), which occurs during the transition from double-strand breaks (DSBs) to double-Holliday junction (dHJs). SEIs are products of strand exchange between one DSB end and its homolog. The structural asymmetry of SEIs indicates that the two ends of a DSB interact with the homolog in temporal succession, via structurally (and thus biochemically) distinct processes. SEIs arise surprisingly late in prophase, concomitant with synaptonemal complex (SC) formation. These and other data imply that SEIs are preceded by nascent DSB-partner intermediates, which then undergo selective differentiation into crossover and noncrossover types, with SC formation and strand exchange as downstream consequences. Late occurrence of strand exchange provides opportunity to reverse recombinational fate even after homologs are coaligned and/or synapsed. This feature can explain crossover suppression between homeologous and structurally heterozygous chromosomes.
Cha RS, Weiner BM, Keeney S, Dekker J, Kleckner N. Progression of meiotic DNA replication is modulated by interchromosomal interaction proteins, negatively by Spo11p and positively by Rec8p. Genes Dev. 2000;14 (4) :493-503.Abstract
Spo11p is a key mediator of interhomolog interactions during meiosis. Deletion of the SPO11 gene decreases the length of S phase by approximately 25%. Rec8p is a key coordinator of meiotic interhomolog and intersister interactions. Deletion of the REC8 gene increases S-phase length, by approximately 10% in wild-type and approximately 30% in a spo11Delta background. Thus, the progression of DNA replication is modulated by interchromosomal interaction proteins. The spo11-Y135F DSB (double strand break) catalysis-defective mutant is normal for S-phase modulation and DSB-independent homolog pairing but is defective for later events, formation of DSBs, and synaptonemal complexes. Thus, earlier and later functions of Spo11 are defined. We propose that meiotic S-phase progression is linked directly to development of specific chromosomal features required for meiotic interhomolog interactions and that this feedback process is built upon a more fundamental mechanism, common to all cell types, by which S-phase progression is coupled to development of nascent intersister connections and/or related aspects of chromosome morphogenesis. Roles for Rec8 and/or Spo11 in progression through other stages of meiosis are also revealed.
Sakai JS, Kleckner N, Yang X, Guhathakurta A. Tn10 transpososome assembly involves a folded intermediate that must be unfolded for target capture and strand transfer. EMBO J. 2000;19 (4) :776-85.Abstract
Tn10 transposition, like all transposition reactions examined thus far, involves assembly of a stable protein-DNA transpososome, containing a pair of transposon ends, within which all chemical events occur. We report here that stable Tn10 pre-cleavage transpososomes occur in two conformations: a folded form which contains the DNA-bending factor IHF and an unfolded form which lacks IHF. Functional analysis shows that both forms undergo double strand cleavage at the transposon ends but that only the unfolded form is competent for target capture (and thus for strand transfer to target DNA). Additional studies reveal that formation of any type of stable transpososome, folded or unfolded, requires not only IHF but also non-specific transposase-DNA contacts immediately internal to the IHF-binding site, implying the occurrence of a topo- logically closed loop at the transposon end. Overall, transpososome assembly must proceed via a folded intermediate which, however, must be unfolded in order for intermolecular transposition to occur. These and other results support key features of a recently proposed model for transpososome assembly and morphogenesis.
Blat Y, Kleckner N. Cohesins bind to preferential sites along yeast chromosome III, with differential regulation along arms versus the centric region. Cell. 1999;98 (2) :249-59.Abstract
Sister chromatid cohesion is mediated by evolutionary conserved chromosomal proteins, termed "cohesins." Using an extension of chromatin immunoprecipitation, we have analyzed the distribution of cohesins Mcd1/ Sccl and Smc1 along yeast chromosome III. Both proteins occur preferentially at the same approximately 23 positions. Sites in a approximately 50 kb region around the centromere give especially intense signals. Prominent centric region binding appears to emerge from a more even distribution, probably by differential loss of cohesins along the chromosome arms. Cohesin binding peaks correspond closely to peaks of high local AT composition, a base composition periodicity of approximately 15 kb that is distinct from the approximately 50 kb periodicity of base composition isochores, consistent with axis association of cohesins. The methodology described can be used to analyze the distribution of any DNA-binding protein and, via microchips, along entire genomes.
Burgess SM, Kleckner N. Collisions between yeast chromosomal loci in vivo are governed by three layers of organization. Genes Dev. 1999;13 (14) :1871-83.Abstract
The relative probabilities that different pairs of chromosomal loci will collide with one another in vegetatively growing diploid yeast cells have been assessed using a genetic assay for Cre/loxP site-specific recombination. Recombination rates have been determined for 18 different pairs of loxP sites representing diverse pairs of positions within the genome. Overall, relative collision probabilities vary over an eightfold range. Within this range, a hierarchy comprising three levels of organization can be discerned. First, collisions between loci on nonhomologous chromosomes are governed by nonspecific centromere clustering. Second, a sequence is closer to allelic or nearby sequences on its homolog than to sequences on nonhomologous chromosomes, an effect most simply attributed to homolog pairing. Third, a sequence can be closer to other sequences nearby on the same chromosome than to sequences on other chromosomes. These findings provide a framework for assessing the role of chromosome disposition in cellular processes such as DNA repair and gene expression. Also the possibility is raised that genome-wide coalignment of homologs is not the fundamental raison d'etre of the somatic pairing process. We suggest instead that pairing may exist to promote juxtaposition of homologous regions within irregular genome complements.
Wang TF, Kleckner N, Hunter N. Functional specificity of MutL homologs in yeast: evidence for three Mlh1-based heterocomplexes with distinct roles during meiosis in recombination and mismatch correction. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999;96 (24) :13914-9.Abstract
The yeast genome encodes four proteins (Pms1 and Mlh1-3) homologous to the bacterial mismatch repair component, MutL. Using two hybrid-interaction and coimmunoprecipitation studies, we show that these proteins can form only three types of complexes in vivo. Mlh1 is the common component of all three complexes, interacting with Pms1, Mlh2, and Mlh3, presumptively as heterodimers. The phenotypes of single deletion mutants reveal distinct functions for the three heterodimers during meiosis: in a pms1 mutant, frequent postmeiotic segregation indicates a defect in the correction of heteroduplex DNA, whereas the frequency of crossing-over is normal. Conversely, crossing-over in the mlh3 mutant is reduced to approximately 70% of wild-type levels but correction of heteroduplex is normal. In a mlh2 mutant, crossing-over is normal and postmeiotic segregation is not observed but non-Mendelian segregation is elevated and altered with respect to parity. Finally, to a first approximation, the mlh1 mutant represents the combined single mutant phenotypes. Taken together, these data imply modulation of a basic Mlh1 function via combination with the three other MutL homologs and suggest specifically that Mlh1 combines with Mlh3 to promote meiotic crossing-over.
Burgess SM, Ajimura M, Kleckner N. GCN5-dependent histone H3 acetylation and RPD3-dependent histone H4 deacetylation have distinct, opposing effects on IME2 transcription, during meiosis and during vegetative growth, in budding yeast. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999;96 (12) :6835-40.Abstract
Diploid yeast undergo meiosis under certain conditions of nutrient limitation, which trigger a transcriptional cascade involving two key regulatory genes. IME1 is a positive activator of IME2, which activates downstream genes. We report that Gcn5, a histone H3 acetylase, plays a central role in initiation of meiosis via effects on IME2 expression. An allele, gcn5-21, was isolated as a mutant defective in spore formation. gcn5-21 fails to carry out meiotic DNA replication, recombination, or meiotic divisions. This mutant also fails to induce IME2 transcription; IME1 transcription, however, is essentially normal. Further investigation shows that during wild-type meiosis the IME2 promoter undergoes an increase in the level of bound acetylated histone H3. This increase is contemporaneous with meiotic induction of IME2 transcription and is absent in gcn5-21. In contrast, the RPD3 gene, which encodes a histone H4 deacetylase and is known to be required for repression of basal IME2 transcription in growing yeast cells, is not involved in induction of IME2 transcription or IME2 histone acetlyation during meiosis. These and other results suggest that Gcn5 and Rpd3 play distinct roles, modulating transcription initiation in opposite directions under two different cellular conditions. These roles are implemented via opposing effects of the two gene products on acetylation of two different histones. Finally, we find that gcn5 and rpd3 single mutants are not defective in meiosis if acetate is absent and respiration is promoted by a metabolically unrelated carbon source. Perhaps intracellular acetate levels regulate meiosis by controlling histone acetylation patterns.
Zickler D, Kleckner N. Meiotic chromosomes: integrating structure and function. Annu Rev Genet. 1999;33 :603-754.Abstract
Meiotic chromosomes have been studied for many years, in part because of the fundamental life processes they represent, but also because meiosis involves the formation of homolog pairs, a feature which greatly facilitates the study of chromosome behavior. The complex events involved in homolog juxtaposition necessitate prolongation of prophase, thus permitting resolution of events that are temporally compressed in the mitotic cycle. Furthermore, once homologs are paired, the chromosomes are connected by a specific structure: the synaptonemal complex. Finally, interaction of homologs includes recombination at the DNA level, which is intimately linked to structural features of the chromosomes. In consequence, recombination-related events report on diverse aspects of chromosome morphogenesis, notably relationships between sisters, development of axial structure, and variations in chromatin status. The current article reviews recent information on these topics in an historical context. This juxtaposition has suggested new relationships between structure and function. Additional issues were addressed in a previous chapter (551).