Rad51 suppresses gross chromosomal rearrangement at centromere in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

Ken Ichi Nakamura, Aya Okamoto, Yuki Katou, Chie Yadani, Takeshi Shitanda, Chitrada Kaweeteerawat, Tatsuro S. Takahashi, Takehiko Itoh, Katsuhiko Shirahige, Hisao Masukata, Takuro Nakagawa

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Centromere that plays a pivotal role in chromosome segregation is composed of repetitive elements in many eukaryotes. Although chromosomal regions containing repeats are the hotspots of rearrangements, little is known about the stability of centromere repeats. Here, by using a minichromosome that has a complete set of centromere sequences, we have developed a fission yeast system to detect gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCRs) that occur spontaneously. Southern and comprehensive genome hybridization analyses of rearranged chromosomes show two types of GCRs: translocation between homologous chromosomes and formation of isochromosomes in which a chromosome arm is replaced by a copy of the other. Remarkably, all the examined isochromosomes contain the breakpoint in centromere repeats, showing that isochromosomes are produced by centromere rearrangement. Mutations in the Rad3 checkpoint kinase increase both types of GCRs. In contrast, the deletion of Rad51 recombinase preferentially elevates isochromosome formation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis shows that Rad51 localizes at centromere around S phase. These data suggest that Rad51 suppresses rearrangements of centromere repeats that result in isochromosome formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3036-3046
Number of pages11
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 19 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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